Wall Street Journal finds friend in Chicago

March 10, 2009

…And we’re not talking about Tribune Chief Executive Sam Zell. We Mean Coleen Davison, private citizen, and resident of Chicago, Illinois.

The Wall Street Journal turned a letter from Davison, a former Chicago Tribune subscriber, into an advertisement — that it tried to run in the Trib. Trouble is, that paper declined to run the ad. Now, it’s running in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Trib’s rival.

Here’s some of her letter:

Our growing discontent with the Tribune’s diminishing quality became intolerable after their redesign last fall, and led us to explore other news options. We settled on the WSJ after perusing several different newspapers, even though neither my husband nor I are particularly involved in the financial world. … While the focus is obviously on the business sector, there is so much to be gleaned about our world from your reporting. Your journalists/contributors clearly know their subjects. Articles are presented articulately and coherently. Your coverage of world news and your human interest pieces are insightful, engaging and thought provoking. And I LOVE your editorial pages-just when I had begun to think common sense was a lost art, I’ve discovered the WSJ!

The ad then offers readers two free weeks of the Journal, along with a 75 percent discount.

A Chicago Tribune spokeswoman declined to comment on the ad. I asked Sun-Times spokeswoman Tammy Chase what she thought about the paper agreeing to run an ad knocking its competitor, but not even mentioning the Sun-Times as an option. She said it’s a business transaction, but in the spirit of good business, asked us to deliver this message to Ms. Davison:

As for her choice of newspaper, the Wall Street Journal is an excellent paper. Sure, we’d love to have her as a customer and if she wants to get local news from Chicago’s best daily newspaper, she can call the Chicago Sun-Times anytime at (888) 848-4637 and we’d be happy to get her a subscription set up.

You might think that the Tribune is getting beaten up here. But not to worry — its parent company gets paid by the Journal to print its Midwest edition. Tribune also publishes prints (you know what we meant)Barron’s, which WSJ parent Dow Jones & Co owns. So it seems like everybody wins in the Windy City.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

[…] more here. Posted by Chris Roush […]

Posted by Talking Biz News » WSJ ad in Chicago doesn’t run in Trib | Report as abusive

[…] Tribune  rejects Wall St Journal  ad quoting disgruntle ex-Trib subscriber. This was written by admin. Posted on Wednesday, March 11, […]

Posted by The Farm Report › | Report as abusive

Well, not everybody. The Tribune was once the pride of Chicago, but not anymore.

Davison’s frustration is well founded. She needn’t worry, since Zell drove into the iceberg it won’t be around much longer.

Posted by Chicago | Report as abusive

“And I LOVE your editorial pages-just when I had begun to think common sense was a lost art, I’ve discovered the WSJ!”

Um, no surer sign of insanity than WSJ editorials beginning to make sense.

Posted by leo | Report as abusive

You fail to mention in your article the fact that the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdock of Newscorp and Fox news fame. That anyone would find the WSJ worthy is an indication of a lack of looking far enough.

Posted by Susie | Report as abusive

WHAT? Rupert Murdock owns the WSJ? Oh wait… you mean Rupert Murdoch! Criminal of us to fail to mention that…

Posted by Robert MacMillan | Report as abusive