Wall Street Journal to drop Sunday Journal and Wall Street Journal Radio Network

Updated with a memo from Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker.

Dow Jones CEO William Lewis tells his employees that “it will come as no surprise that in order to do even more, we must do fewer things that are not core to our business so that we can move faster in pursuit of our goals.”

Thus, Sunday Journal from The Wall Street Journal “will come to a close over the coming months,” and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network “will cease operations at the end of the calendar year.”

From: Lewis, William
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:32 AM
Subject: An Announcement

Dear Colleague,

Over the past few months, we have set and communicated ambitious goals for the company over the next three fiscal years, and we have done a lot to push toward those goals, including new investment, launches and product enhancements:

* New WSJ iPad app;
* New WSJ+ subscriber program;
* Partnership with Evernote for the Journal and Factiva;
* Digital expansion for Barron’s in Asia;
* Expansion of WSJ. Magazine into Latin America;
* New WSJD Live tech conference.

But it will come as no surprise that in order to do even more, we must do fewer things that are not core to our business so that we can move faster in pursuit of our goals.

By focusing our resources on areas we believe are ripe for growth we can operate with agility, efficiency and increased energy.

Today we are announcing plans that will see the discontinuation of some products over the coming months in support of that charge./CONTINUES

– The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, which includes MarketWatch Radio and provides content to affiliate stations in the U.S, will cease operations at the end of the calendar year. As we move away from the terrestrial radio business, we will continue to build out our digital audio capabilities and offerings.

– In the U.S., Sunday Journal from The Wall Street Journal, which provides content to partner newspapers each weekend, will come to a close over the coming months. We have an extremely strong offering in the very successful WSJ Weekend and will continue to work to grow that audience.

– We have made several moves in recent years to expand our reach digitally and globally into new markets and continue to embrace such expansion. But as we have analyzed our strategy, we have determined that local-language web sites in Germany and Turkey, as well as the Turkish-language Newswire, are not core to our future and will discontinue by the end of the year.

I was recently in Germany and was asked for clarity around the way forward – and I can assure you I am particularly excited about the growth opportunities for the Journal and WSJ.com in Germany as we work to drive subscriptions in this important market. We will also maintain our news bureaus in both countries. I am proud that we try new products in new markets, but we also must recognize that this should only be done in pursuit of our goals.

We have spoken today directly to the impacted colleagues on these plans, each of whom has greatly contributed to the company, and I thank them for their work. These decisions are not easy.

It’s important that we are nimble and move quickly in order to focus on our strategic priorities and operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

As always, I invite you to email me directly with any thoughts.


Memo from the Journal’s editor-in-chief:

From: Baker, Gerard
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:29 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff
Subject: News

As we equip ourselves for success in the modern news age, we need to ensure that we are devoting our resources and energies where we can best meet our most important objectives. Our primary goal of course is to produce the most authoritative news in the world and I am immensely proud of the work we do every day to make Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal the indispensable source of news for a growing global audience.

In the last year we have invested in and greatly strengthened our coverage of the areas of news that we believe will be critical to our long term growth: economics, business – especially technology – global markets and finance, policy and politics, as well as the expanded features coverage that is enabling the Journal to reach a new and larger audience. At the same time we have only just begun to roll out a series of new and improved platforms for our journalism – both for the Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.

We will continue to allocate more resources to the areas of coverage that will be most effective in growing our global subscription base, and there will be more products and platforms that will take our journalism to an ever larger readership. I will have more to say about that in the next few months.

Unfortunately, the obverse of focusing on the core means having to make some hard choices about where we place our bets in a world of constrained resources. That is the backdrop for the announcement today about the closure of some of our products.

The decision to discontinue our operations in radio and the Sunday Journal in the US was a difficult one. The work of our highly skilled teams of journalists in these fields has been consistently impressive and is deeply appreciated. But we believe the primary opportunity for rapid growth of the Journal in the US is the expansion of our core circulation – digital and in print – and continued increases in Marketwatch’s audience. And so we must ensure that our focus and investment is placed on those products.

In Europe, we are closing the German language website and our Turkish language services. Again, these are tough choices. These outlets have produced high quality journalism in the last few years and we are all immensely appreciative of the work of the journalists there. But this decision will enable us to focus our energies and resources on our very ambitious plans to achieve much faster growth of the Journal worldwide.

Let me reiterate: None of these difficult decisions reflects in any way on the skill, dedication and creativity of our reporters and editors. I am enormously grateful to them for the great contributions they have made to Dow Jones – many of them over long and distinguished careers.

I want to thank personally all those who have worked so hard in the enterprises we are discontinuing. In the US, Germany, Turkey and elsewhere, they have produced outstanding journalism, raised the profile of Dow Jones reporting and brought vital news in its most authoritative form to millions of readers and listeners.

We will now fully direct our concerted efforts to seizing the great opportunities that lie ahead for our distinct and distinguished reporting. We remain fervent in our commitment to producing the finest journalism anywhere. We will work tirelessly to ensure that our journalism is consumed by more people in more parts of the world than ever before.