The Playgoer: Murdoch's Makes a Play for NYT Arts Readers

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Murdoch's Makes a Play for NYT Arts Readers

Rupert Murdoch sees an opening. With only one New York newspaper appointing itself the "Arbiter of Culture"--and, surprisingly, many culture industry people believing it!--he wants his new Wall Street Journal to compete on that front as well as in industry and finance coverage.

New York Observer reports, according to inside WSJ sources,

He [Murdoch] said that The Times’ coverage was lightweight and uninteresting, according to two people present. Mr. Murdoch said if The Journal could strengthen its culture coverage, it would be easy to pluck off Times readers and advertisers.
Lightweight and uninteresting? Holy Cow, I agree with Rupert Murdoch about something!

The revamped WSJ Arts section is still in the works. (Hopefully it will publish on more days than Fridays!). Meanwhile, an indication might be found on their new "culture" blog (entertainment, really), Speakeasy.

While the WSJ may be a conservative paper run by a megalomaniac philistine, I actually hold out hopes for this. I actually hope it remains "conservative" as in old-fasioned and classy, since that inevitably means some theatre coverage! My fear that it will lean more toward the glossy Fox Network/tabloid side of Murdoch, as the Speakeasy blog already does.

Still, bottom line is I'm quite pro-capitalist about this. The monopoly the Times theatre coverage holds over our One-Paper State in this town has got to be broken. In arts coverage, competition is only a good thing.

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