New York Newspaper War: WSJ Making Moves To Break NYT’s Hold On Big Retailers

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Credit: Crikey Media

The WSJ has been targeting the NYT’s luxury retail advertisers for over a year, but with the expected debut of the News Corp-owned paper’s NYC metro section in April, the ad war will officially begin, AdAge reports. While the NYT has expressed confidence in its ability to maintain its long-standing relationship with major marketers, the WSJ is already taking aggressive steps to force advertisers to choose where to put their finite ad dollars.

The WSJ has appears to have lined up extensive commitments from two NYT staples, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman. The former spent about $1 million in the WSJ in ’09 — compared to the nearly $18 million Bloomingdale’s lavished on the NYT — while the latter spent nothing in the Journal and $1.4 million in the Times.

Just having a few pages devoted to NYC won’t alter certain advantages that the NYT has over its rival. For one thing, despite Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to broaden WSJ’s scope beyond business news by highlighting political and national coverage, the paper’s demo is still more narrowly male and professional compared to the more general NYT readership. That will continue to influence advertisers.

At the very least, though, the WSJ is likely to cut into the NYT’s near-solitary hold on high-end retailers. And the paper’s website has been fighting for new readers and potential advertisers by building up its hyperlocal NY/NJ sites. Still, the WSJ isn’t just placing its bets in the New York region. The paper has followed the NYT into San Francisco with a special local edition of its own, which is expected to make its pitches to national retailers more attractive.

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