Blog Post

WSJ Unveils Sleeker Print Look, Some Online Plans; Preview Of Crovitz Mixer Q&A

Dow Jones took the latest steps today in the elaborately choreographed redesign of the Wall Street Journal print edition and complementary online changes. (Details about that here.)The throngs attending Tuesday night’s NYC ContentNext mixer will get more info about the online side directly from L. Gordon Crovitz, the first WSJ publisher completely responsible for the print and online editions. (He’s also EVP-DJ, and president of the Consumer Media Group.) Those of you who can’t make it will be able to read about it here.
We chatted for a bit following the formal presentation at the Morgan Library (which I missed because of a Media Week conflict). The set-up was itself a sign of the changes. A blown-up version of the new front page, which will debut Jan. 2, at the back of the dais clearly showing the emphasis on online, while large flat-screen monitors on the sides touted WSJ print and online. Following the press morning, the execs were meeting with the PR community to explain the new Journal.
Asked what a story in the new format might look like, Crovitz offered the recent Weekend Edition novella-length article on an Iranian photographer as an example of how print and online will work together. In addition to the print version — which Crovitz said would still be as long in the new print edition even though it will have 10 percent less news hole — the Online Journal was able to display the full 27-photo set of the controversial execution pictures, post a lengthy video of reporter Joshua Prager’s description ofthe multi-year project — and link to an NPR piece about the article.
A more routine example would be a series of online breaking stories and updates about a company’s earnings that might only be an infographic and a brief in the next day’s paper. The idea is to use online for the here and now while print becomes more about why and how.
Free for all: The greatest shift online that has been made public is the creation of a new Markets Data Center that will draw from various DJ publications and assets. Also launching Jan. 2, the data center will be ad-supported and available to anyone, not just the 800,000-plus Online Journal subscribers. Consumers expect that kind of information to be free in today’s online environment, Crovitz said.