It’s old news that News Corp.’s (NWS) Rupert Murdoch intends to take the WSJ.com free as soon as he can. The only folks that don’t believe this are WSJ execs from Gordon Crovitz on down, who steadfastly insist that there are benefits to staying behind a paywall, that there’s plenty of free WSJ products online now (Marketwatch!) and that Murdoch doesn’t own them yet so nothing’s been decided.
Say this for the WSJers — they don’t give up easily…
Now they are enlisting the help of Reuters’ Ken Li and Robert MacMillan to make their case. Ken and Robert argue that taking WSJ.com free isn’t a slam dunk because 1) The website will have to generate a lot more traffic to make up for lost subscription revenue and 2) It will devalue Dow Jones’ newswire and Factiva services.
Neither one of those arguments is going to stop Rupe. He’s fully confident he can sell enough ads to make up for lost subs, and he might well decide to keep parts of WSJ.com, or services like Factiva, behind a paywall. But he may want to have a chat with chief WSJ spokeswoman Christine Mohan, who is quoted several times in the piece explaining why Rupert’s wrong.
Related: Murdoch: Expect To Take WSJ Free