Rupert Murdoch was asked yesterday at a web conference if he’d like to use The Wall Street Journal to “kill” The New York Times. “That would be nice,” he replied.
“We have a lot of plans and a lot of ideas that need to be refined,” he continued. “But I want to improve it in every way: in what it does now in finance to start with, but I also want to add more national and international news.”
“I want to add major coverage of the arts, fashion and culture,” he added.
What Mr. Murdoch outlined last night was both an improved Wall Street Journal and a fundamentally different newspaper. As The Observer reported this week, Journal editors have already suggested that under Mr. Murdoch the paper will aspire to compete on national stories. (On a confernce call with Journal reperters, Managing Editor Marcus Brauchli recently gave the example of a bridge collapse in Minnesota.) Editors also say the paper’s Washington coverage looks likely to be beefed up.
And in case there was any doubt, last night Mr. Murdoch reinforced that in seeking these changes, he has an eye fixed squarely on the Times.