The 20-year-old magazine is ditching print and expanding online. “Layoffs are expected, but the number of positions to be eliminated is unclear,” reports the Wall Street Journal. Jeff Bercovici at Forbes notes that SmartMoney ad pages decreased 23.4% in the first quarter.
UPDATE: “The print edition’s 25 staffers, including editor in chief Jonathan Dahl, will be let go,” writes Erik Maza on WWD.com. “All would have to reapply for open positions at smartmoney.com, which will add nine digital positions, or within Dow Jones.”
UPDATE: The press release is after the jump.
SmartMoney Magazine to Make Digital Transition; Digital Team to Expand
SmartMoney Print Edition to Cease Production This Summer
NEW YORK, June 21, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dow Jones & Company announced today that SmartMoney, the personal finance magazine from The Wall Street Journal, will make a digital transition that will include the expansion of its digital news team. As part of the transition, the print edition of SmartMoney will cease production this summer, and the magazine’s September issue, on newsstands August 14, will be the final issue.
To expand the brand’s digital reach, the editorial staff of SmartMoney.com will increase to 15, including six new editorial staff positions. The New York-based team will report to Raju Narisetti, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
Approximately 25 staff positions for the print edition are being impacted as part of the print magazine’s closing, with those affected eligible to re-apply for open positions with SmartMoney.com and other openings within the company.
“SmartMoney has led the way in personal finance coverage for 20 years. It has been honored with many awards and provided intelligent, objective analysis and guidance for readers in print and online. It’s clear that the volatility of markets and asset classes has increased the need for rapid delivery of personal finance intelligence, so we will be expanding our team and presence on the web,” said Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. “The team should be extremely proud of what it has achieved and be excited by the prospect of what it will achieve.”
“I am proud of the exceptional journalism that the hard-working and talented staff of SmartMoney has produced in recent years and am grateful to the Journal, and to Robert Thomson specifically, for providing us the opportunity to produce it,” said Jonathan Dahl, editor-in-chief of SmartMoney. “I look forward to seeing SmartMoney’s legacy continue at SmartMoney.com.”
In addition to SmartMoney.com, all content and tools from the site will be available on an expanded co-branded personal finance section on MarketWatch.com. This move also extends the digital reach of the SmartMoney brand to MarketWatch’s nearly 17 million monthly visitors from SmartMoney.com’s 2.5 million monthly visitors. (Source: Internal/WSJDN)
“Personal finance coverage in print and online remains a critical part of The Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal Digital Network,” says Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer, The Wall Street Journal. “The addition of SmartMoney’s strong, trusted content and innovative tools will be a needle-moving addition to MarketWatch’s already strong portfolio of content. A dedicated advertising sales team is being assembled in order to ensure the continued success of the site.”
MarketWatch, which has seen a 50% growth in traffic over the past 12 months, currently offers deep and broad personal finance coverage across a range of topics – including real estate, spending and saving, credit cards, small business and more – as well as up-to-the-minute markets coverage for active investors. SmartMoney.com’s content will also deepen retirement and tax coverage for the section.
SmartMoney was launched jointly between Dow Jones and Hearst Corporation in 1992. Dow Jones acquired Hearst’s remaining 50% interest in 2010. The magazine won three National Magazine Awards and was a finalist 14 times.