Who has time to read with all that sailing?

September 4, 2008

wsj.jpgThe Wall Street Journal took the wraps off its new luxury magazine yesterday —  a big glossy that appeals to those polo players and yachtsmen who weren’t sweating out $4/gallon gasoline this summer.

Check out the demographics of the average WSJ.  magazine reader: Carries household assets of $2.9 million, spent 26 days golfing last year, took seven leisure trips and still managed to squeeze in 16 days of sailing. That’s 16 days of sailing.

The New York Times this morning reminds us that even the launch event was a bit on the posh side:

Reflecting the magazine’s high style, its unveiling was held at the Pierpont Morgan Library over a breakfast that included smoked salmon, caviar and raspberry parfait, with a digital slide show and executives reading from teleprompters.

Robert J. Thomson, managing editor of The Journal, poked a little fun at the pomp, saying, “This being convention season, histrionics are the order of the day.”

But who’s to say that News Corp isn’t on to something here? The magazine expands the Journal’s advertising base, and truth be told, most believe that luxury goods are holding up much better than other parts of the economy right now. In its first issue, WSJ. pulled in 51 advertisers — 19 of which are new to the paper.

Ken Doctor, news industry analyst for research firm Outsell Inc, described it to the Associated Press as “smart positioning” by the newspaper:

 “You’ve got to pick your spots even in the bad market and you have to be positioned for the rebound.”

As for the magazine itself, we’ll be interested to hear the reaction of readers  — those who aren’t too busy tacking or jibing to browse through the first issue. In the meantime, Editor and Publisher’s Fitz & Jen blog describes the inaugural cover this way:

 A woman outfitted in a dress made entirely of Wall Street Journal newspapers. It’s a curious choice. The model is certainly stylish and attractive enough and the garment isn’t half bad considering its made from newsprint. BUT it conjures up images of bums curled up on park benches using newspapers for cover.

And homeless definitely don’t fall into the magazine’s choice demographic.

Keep an eye on:

  • The New York Sun, a daily newspaper launched six years ago as an often conservative-leaning alternative to The New York Times, may stop publishing by the end of September unless it gets $10 million (Reuters)
  • New York cable TV operator Cablevision Systems Corp has started rolling out a free Wi-Fi network for subscribers who want to access the Web via laptops and other wireless devices (Reuters)
  • CNBC has entered into an alliance with LinkedIn under which the financial news channel will air content generated by the professional networking site’s 27 million members (Reuters)

(Photo of WSJ. magazine courtesy of Dow Jones and Co)

One comment

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The new owners seem to consistently overlook the fact that Wall Street Journal readers read the Journal for substance, something the slick WSJ. magazine is woefully short of. How do I opt out?

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive