Murdoch Says Journal Will Worry About Structure First, Then Find the Talent

Rupert Murdoch spoke at The D Conference this week, and laid out more non-specific but interesting plans for The Journal.

For months, it’s been speculated that Murdoch cares more about figuring out the actual structure of the paper, and then he’ll get down to the dirty business of assigning the right reporters to the right assignements, and signing a few superstars.

How else to explain the fact that the paper hasn’t really picked up any boldface names since he got control of the paper in mid-December (the lone exception is Sue Schmidt from The Washington Post)?

So when he was asked today whether he intends to put money into the paper, he said: "There are more reporters wherever I need them. I think at the moment, there are ways in which we do things that should be changed and made much better."

For instance, all those pesky editors who are running around at that paper!

Every story in the moment at The Wall Street Journal, on average, is touched or edited by 8.3 people. That is ridiculous. Alright? I’m serious. And everybody who goes to it says, ‘What about this? What about that?’ And the story gets longer and longer and longer. And people don’t have time for it. There’s not a story that you can’t get all the facts in half the space.

And then, of course, what’s a conversation with Murdoch without mention of The Times?

I think, nationally, those who buy their local paper,ad instead of buying both The Journal and The Times, they’ll buy one or the other. It’ll happen right away. I mean, over a few months. I think we’ll expand, we may affect The Times. I think they’re a great organization, I think they’ll react and I think you’ll find the emergence of two very strong national papers—and you’ll have a choice.