Everything is relative. Remember last year when news that Rupert Murdoch was in talks to buy Dow Jones was greeted with the same dire predictions usually reserved for the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Well, what a difference a year makes, as they say, more specifically a year which a seen the economic dismantling of the newspaper industry. Turns out that while the direst predictions about newspapers as a whole are proving out, Rupe hasn’t been all that bad.
Murdoch has stood out…showing faith in a shrinking business. The Journal has yet to see the massive layoffs of other publications, and there are plans to expand coverage in some areas. Bucking the industry trend, subscriptions actually went up for the six months ended in March.Of course, regular FBNY readers will already know that according to the Paul Steiger (the last WSJ editor prior to Murdoch’s takeover), Rupe has been “pouring money” into the paper, and that according to Slate‘s Jack Shafer, playing Good Rupe just happens to be a better financial investment. However, as we all know, those who laugh last laugh loudest and it is early days yet, even Rupe says, “this is destined to be an extra-inning game, and to use an overly used metaphor, we’re only in the first inning.”