Perhaps you're like me.
You've had enough of all the hand-wringing about News Corp's proposed purchase of Dow Jones. Pearson in. Pearson out. NBC. Microsoft. Hearst. Rumor. Rumor Rumor.
You saw Joe Nocera's point in the Times when he delineated Dow Jones history of corporate missteps, in almost 2000 words. You could muse along with James Stewart in Smart Money, on how the principles of journalism rub against the profit imperative. You may even have found revelation in the Wall Street Journal's own one-fingered salute to News Corp, in its Page One report on how Murdoch's properties bent the truth one way or the other over the years to suit their master's investments and realpolitiks.
Hey boys, it's only one paper, journalism inevitably changes, and anyways, it's now officially summer. So I'd suggest everyone just chill out, greet the season, lay back and enjoy what may become of Rupert's WSJ:
- Smile along with all those Brite-smiled Chinese young professionals, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the new four-page (A7-A10) "China: Ancient Land of Modern Opportunity" section. Produced by the new EnterPrize team, "incented" to produce content that monetizes on multiple platforms, the new section transcends the outdated notions of "editorial" and "advertorial."
- In yet another organizational shuffle, Sacha Baron Cohen, lead in the News Corp mega-profit property, "Borat," is appointed International Editor. Debate rages in the Bancroft family as to whether this Cohen is related to retired DJ CEO Peter Kann.
- Pultizer Prize Winner movie critic Joe Morgenstern takes "a generous buy-out," replaced by the Tomato Picker, from News Corp's Rotten Tomatoes mega-critic site. Three MySpace reviews are appended to each column, chosen using a "Google-like algorithm."
- Sue Shellenbarger's weekly column "Work and Family" is replaced by "Personal Wreck," written by a rotation of fueding Murdoch siblings, Prudence, Elisabeth and Lachlan. Yes, young Chloe and Grace are slated to join the rotation, but contrary to rumor, it's not written into the now-famous "Bancroft Pledge."
- "Play the Wall Street Journal Stock Market Game" is launched in what Advertising Age calls a "masterful stroke of brand synergy" throughout the News Corp.-owned IGN video game business.
- The new editorial page sports a one-quarter page weekly commentary detailing the new paper's editorial transgressions, one of the few bargaining chips won in "The Sale" and included in the Bancroft Pledge. Under pressure, the family agrees to reduce its space to one-eighth page, if newsprint reaches $650 a ton.
- Weekend Journal now spots a "Weekend Girl" feature on page five. Bowing to the diverse sensibilities of its New York audience, Weekend Journal agrees to add a "Weekend Boy" during summer months.
- Though News Corp. owns Dow Jones, the courts force the WSJ agreement to supply reporters to CNBC to stay in place through the 2012 contract period. In an unrelated reorganization, those reporters assigned to "liaise" with CNBC are given a choice of assignments in either Queens or Kazakhstan.
- Joining the four independent "Bancroft" directors on the board is one "non-voting" representative of the Chinese government.
- To promote whole company harmony, it is suggested to WSJ staff that they put up a "My (Journal) Space" page, detailing their favorite lunch haunts downtown and spoiled childhood athletic ambitions.
- Factiva, Dow Jones' face to the corporate news market, is re-branded with an asterisk, Fact*iva, "facts and much more," to broaden its appeal
- The company announces a new website launch, "approved by Dow Jones," "All Things R," a Rupert-inspired website featuring the work of several WSJ personalities and hosting an annual conference in which Murdoch, Gates and Jobs will sit together and chat on stage for the very first time.
- Personal Journal's new column, "Satellite vs. Cable" manages to come up with a new kind of consumer comparison chart weekly and, online, is customizable by continent. The new newsroom style book advises the avoidance of more than three references to Direct TV in any single chart. Mentions of Tata Sky and Fox Televizija are not covered by the advisory.
- Following WSJ Publisher Gordon Crovitz' new dictum on the print product describing the "how" of news rather than the "what", the "How No-Holds-Barred Capitalism is Good for Journalism" 10-part series is entered in the 2008 Pulitzer contest.