Kosner, Grove: Rupert Murdoch Will Not Ruin The Wall Street Journal

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Legendary editor and journalist Ed Kosner and Portfolio’s Lloyd Grove dropped by James Goodale’s public television program ”The Digital Age” this week to talk about Rupert Murdoch and what his ownership of The Journal will mean to the respected paper.

James Goodale: We’ll agree with 14 Pulitzer Prizes that The Wall Street Journal is a paragon of quality journalism — let’s just go back and forth on that because some viewers think of The Wall Street journal as just a financial paper for men, but it’s not, is it?

Ed Kosner: No, The Journal — I think I’ve said it before — is the best paper all things considered …

Ed Kosner: It has the highest IQ; it has the most scrupulous and detached reporting; it goes and finds the stories that hardly anybody else does …

Later in the interview the conversation turned to speculation on the relationship between the Wall Street Journal and the Fox Business News cultures:

Kosner: The interesting problem is going to come with … integrating the Wall Street Journal franchise into the Fox Business Channel. And that may be the first time where you see conflicts between commercial interests …

Goodale: –Let’s talk about … Let me go back a little bit, because we didn’t say that one of the reasons that most people believe he baught The Wall Street Journal — from a corporate point of view — and he probably said it himself, is that he wanted to use the Wall Street Journal to do exactly what you say, to feed into the Fox ..

Kosner: — Business Channel …

”Goodale: How do you do that? You’re putting out a newspaper — how do you take a newspaper and feed it into a TV …

Kosner: Well, you take some of the material from the paper; you take some of the people from the paper. But the problem he has is that The Wall Street Journal has a contract with CNBC which runs several more years. So they’re going to have to somehow find a way to use The Journal — unless they break that contract. The problem will be that he Fox Business Channel is not likely to match up very comfortably with The Journal … that’s what we will have to see. I think what will happen probably is that they’ll have Wall Street Journal segments that are labeled ‘Wall Street Journal’ that will be inserted into the Fox news so that it won’t be Wall Street journal hobnobbing with the babes who will be giving news on the Fox Business Channel …

Lloyd Grove: Murdoch said last week at the Goldman Sachs investor conference that the contract with CNBC only applies to business journalism — so he can put Wall Street Journal people on his channel to talk about lifestyle, uh, politics, for which The Wall Street Journal is justly celebrated as well.

At the end of the interesting interview (which, unfortunately, is not yet online), both Grove and Kosner agreed that Murdoch would not ruin the Wall Street Journal,

(image via pbs.org)