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Firewall stays up at WSJ

January 27, 2008

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Using Davos as his pulpit, Rupert Murdoch said that the WSJ will, in fact, continue to charge readers for much of its online content. Apparently this off-the-cuff “official” announcement came as a surprise to staffers. From Friday’s New York Times:

But they said the company had not intended to announce the policy yet and had not expected any statement by Mr. Murdoch, who is known for speaking his mind. In November, Mr. Murdoch said of the Journal site, “We expect to make that free,” and in that case, too, people involved in the discussions were caught off guard and cautioned that nothing had been decided.

I still believe we’ll see a free WSJ.com in future. Can you blame Rupert and co. for not opening up content in this turbulent economy? No way. He receives a guaranteed $70m per year from subscription fees at the moment. Who knows what he’ll get in the softening online advertising market – certainly not on par with that $70m, that’s for sure.

Stay tuned, much more to come on this story..

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