Of course ownership by Rupert Murdoch has not yet changed the Wall St. Journal…It has not morphed into a tabloid, with a headline, “The Economy is hot, hot, hot!!!” accompanied by a photo of scantily clad “Page Three Girl.” (According to Wikipedia, “Page Three Girl” are those who appear topless in the British tabloid, The Sun, which is owned by Murdoch.)
Yet many are concerned that he will change the Journal as he has nearly every existing media property he has acquired.
In its article, “America is coming to terms with Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of one of its great journalistic institutions,” “The Economist” makes an interesting point about the nature of the Journal: “The Journal is not really one newspaper but two — a newspaper and a highly opinionated conservative magazine. Hitherto it has succeeded in drawing a line between them. Will Mr. Murdoch resist allowing his own conservative opinions to blur that line?”
My bet: Murdoch will certainly start asking questions of his new management team at Dow Jones about the Journal’s business, approaches, margins, etc. And asking these questions — should the Journal.com be available by subscription only, thereby limiting access and lowering its rankings on search engines as limiting the number of people online who can view its articles — will change aspects of the Journal. But he is too shrewd a businessman to want to tamper too much with his new crown jewel.