I believe the Dow Jones mouthpiece when they say that the executive changes announced yesterday weren’t motivated by cost cutting. Dow Jones chief, Les Hinton was quoted as saying:
This structure will provide the focus to make us faster and better than our rivals at identifying and meeting customer needs. This isn’t about personalities, and it’s not about costs.
Essentially, consumer ops (which includes the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch), including marketing, advertising, and production, were consolidated under Todd Larsen, a certainly capable manager who has a good grip on Dow Jones’ capabilities and innerworkings.
Paid Content describes this as DJ’s major business “operating as one.” PC also has an internal memo sent to News Corp employees announcing the changes. It’s worth a read.
What this means, as well, is that Dow Jones is gearing up for an epic battle with Bloomberg, an emergent full-blown media firm that already has DJ in its sights with a recent purchase of BusinessWeek.
I’d say that the market for financial content and distribution is heating up but is certainly not a zero sum game; both firms can be winners here. Bloomberg has an unbelievable distribution network for its terminal business and a long runway to build a consumer brand.
Dow Jones has some of the best consumer brands in the market and a nice entreprise business and it’s going to need to differentiate the WSJ and MarketWatch (anyone interested in this site anymore?) offerings to stay relevant to the business/financial communities.
I’m placing my bets on Bloomberg, though. Corporate structure, distribution, and a totally unknown website — the makings of a global financial content giant. I feel like, in spite of their gaffes, Bloomberg gets investing 2.0 better than Dow Jones does.
How do you think this plays out?