This morning The Times takes on a fraught task: covering the Wall Street Journal‘s impending New York section.
Last week’s high-profile WSJ defection was just a taste of the drama. After all, this involves Rupert Murdoch, for whom (The Times writes) “newspapering is a blood sport”:
Sure enough, in the News Corporation’s planning discussions about the local New York section, the talk has been less about what The Journal would gain than about “killing The New York Times,” according to several people with direct knowledge of the preparations, who asked for anonymity to discuss what are supposed to be secret matters. “It’s not an economic decision,” one of them said.
The Times further reports that the section will launch April 12, average 12 pages, and include daily segments on real estate, culture, business, sports, and metro news. However, The Times plays it cool, maintaining a skeptical stance toward the interloper. The story’s closing quote:
“A great deal would have to change for The Journal to appeal to the average Times reader as a substitute,” said Tunku Varadarajan, a business professor atwho writes for The Daily Beast blog and is a former assistant managing editor of The Journal. “The justification isn’t obvious to me.”