Going Glossy: A First Look at WSJ

Exclusive: Journal's Mag So Far Has Landed More Than 28 Advertisers Ahead of September Launch

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Development of The Wall Street Journal's glossy magazine, WSJ, is entering a new phase in the last three months before Sept. 6. That's when the magazine will be distributed inside 800,000 copies of the Weekend Journal in the U.S., 80,000 copies in Europe and another 80,000 in Asia.
Prototype page: 'Visually, we've developed out language,' Editor Tina Gaudoin said.
Prototype page: 'Visually, we've developed out language,' Editor Tina Gaudoin said.

So last week we took a peek at the progress. Editor Tina Gaudoin, a veteran of News Corp. sibling The Times of London, who was appointed in January, has worked up the prototype pages you see here. Publisher Ellen Asmodeo, a longtime American Express Publishing executive, has already locked down many advertisers. And Hermès has snapped up the back cover.
WSJ has more than 28 advertisers so far, Ms. Asmodeo said. That's pushing the perfect-bound page count past the original plan of 100. Christian Dior, DKNY, Abercrombie & Kent and Bottega Veneta lead a list of committed marketers that are new to the Journal franchise, she said.

"Even if we're talking about how the fashion industry has changed, it's an analytical view of why we have to go to precollection instead of spring and fall collections," Ms. Asmodeo said. "You'll see the Journal approach in how we speak to their lifestyle."

"Any time that we have advertised in The Wall Street Journal in the past few years, we've really gotten a tremendous and positive response," Mr. Chavez said. "When we first heard about the WSJ magazine product, for us it was a natural extension. If anything, we thought it gave us an even better opportunity."

Hermès ad spending in the U.S. last year included $908,000 for national newspapers, $1.8 million for Sunday magazines and $8.2 million for glossy magazines, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

"Magazines tend to stay around for lengthier periods of time," Mr. Chavez said. "People hold on to them. For us it's really about projecting this timelessness, this quality of the brand that Hermès represents."

"What we're always intently trying to do is transport the DNA of the Journal into the magazine," Ms. Gaudoin said. "Since I've come on, obviously I've learned much, much more about the Journal, the reporters, how it looks, how it feels. Now I can see it physically coming to life."

"A little bit of what you sometimes see in the Journal is a wry sense of humor," she added. "We are expanding on that."
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