Has Murdoch revitalized the WSJ?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

It's debatable. The Journal was a great paper when Murdoch bought it last year and it's still a great daily. (Minus, the often loopy editorial page, of course.) Has the Journal changed? Yes. The articles are often shorter. There's a lot more lifestyle and political coverage, although we're not sure the political coverage is any better.

Anyway, this week Newsweek makes a very big deal about how Murdoch is reviving the Journal (even though the paper is still a drag on Murdoch's bottom line.) The part that we couldn't quite believe though, was when Newsweek made this claim:

Whatever else one may think of the 77-year-old's splashy journalistic sensibilities-and there are plenty of traditionalists who don't love the new Journal-few in the media business aren't impressed that Murdoch is at least trying to revitalize and extend an old-media brand. "The New York Times has been regarded as the best newspaper in the world," says Dow Jones CEO Leslie Hinton, a veteran Murdoch executive. "That's a reputation we don't believe is deserved. We're now a real alternative."

Um, notice something odd about that paragraph? Newsweek claims pretty much everyone in the media business is impressed with Murdoch's turn at the Journal. So who does Newsweek quote to prove the point? Newsweek quotes a veteran Murdoch executive.

Seems that if Murdoch were really working miracles at the Journal, than Newsweek would be able to find somebody who doesn't cash a Murdoch paycheck to say so.

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