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WSJ to Bow New Magazine

WSJ. Money will take a nontraditional approach to personal finance

Page from prototype of WSJ. Money

Whether it’s taking stock of one’s own wealth or gawking at others,’ people’s interest in money seems limitless. So says The Wall Street Journal, which is giving personal finance the glossy treatment with a new magazine insert, WSJ. Money.

WSJ. Money is a spinoff of WSJ. Magazine, the newspaper’s luxury lifestyle insert. The title is slated to make its debut March 9 and publish four times this year. It’ll be distributed in the Journal’s weekend edition in the U.S., which has a circulation of 2.3 million. The goal is for 50 pages per issue, including 30 edit and 20 ad pages.

There’s no shortage of magazines targeted towards the rich; this past year newcomers Bloomberg Pursuits (a spinoff of Bloomberg Markets) and DuJour joined a category that includes Town & Country, Departures and ForbesLife.

The executives behind WSJ. Money said their title would be distinct visually and emotionally rich in the way it would treat the subject of personal finance. Money isn’t going to have service pieces about picking stocks and funds, but narratives about characters and lesser-known parts of the world. Leaning heavily on existing Journal staffers, including columnists Jason Zweig, Brett Arends and Kelly Greene, WSJ. Money will include such departments as My Biggest Mistake, a celebrity interview; Empire Builder, which outlines the steps a successful person took to make it big; and Family Office, a look at the world of advisors to the rich.

“It’s for people who are voyeuristically interested in the high end and are at the high end,” explained Mike Miller, senior deputy managing editor at the Journal, who’s overseeing the magazine.

Miller said that as the world of finance has gotten more complex, Journal readers’ appetite for information on the topic is greater than ever. The paper’s research shows readers are already spending more than an hour reading their copy of WSJ., giving it confidence to launch another magazine. “An engaged reader base is the best vehicle for an advertiser,” said Romy Newman, general manager for print at the Journal and WSJ. Money’s business lead.

Newman wasn’t able to give names of any committed ad clients, but she’ll be hitting up wealth managers, private banks and other financial advertisers for advertising, along with other luxury marketers like automakers. Though there will be some overlap with advertisers running in the WSJ., she said the two wouldn’t compete because WSJ. Money will come out on a different weekend and reach people in a different mindset. 

One client who’s considering the title is Harris myCFO, a wealth management company that’s part of BMO Financial Group.

“There’s a whole new wealth owner that looks different from the old wealth owner,” said Paul Basil, director of marketing at Harris myCFO. “Clients take a much more conservative view. I think that’s what [WSJ. Money is] trying to get to. Because the last thing we need is a magazine that talks about summering in the Hamptons. If they stay close to that, they’ll do well.”

Faith in print isn't easy to come by these days, but not so the Journal; it's launched WSJ. and a number of new newspaper sections in recent years, including Greater New York and Mansion. Miller hinted that the print spree may not be over, either. “This is just a quarterly, but we really want to learn more about how to do well in the world of magazines,” he said. Asked if there were others on the drawing board, he said, “We have those conversations, for sure. It’s a widely held fantasy in the newsroom here.”

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