Is The Wall Street Journal‘s managing editor Robert Thomson on Twitter? That’s what we asked Thomson at Dow Jones‘ summer social event last night in New York, hosted by the company’s PR team.
Thomson said that while he will occasionally scan Twitter, he has a “secret” account on the service. Not even his colleagues at Dow Jones know of his Twitter handle. One of the Dow Jones PR executives tell us they’re “trying to figure out” what the secret Twitter feed’s name is.
While we had his ear, we also had to ask Thomson about the Journal taking on The New York Times, with the launch of its “Greater New York” local news section.
Thomson said the stories of intense competition were mostly insider-y and not of interest to a general audience. “We had a lot of fun with that,” he said, in reference to the public back and forth between himself and Times‘ executives, and hinted that it was all just smart marketing on Dow Jones‘ behalf.
Moving past the Journal‘s local competition, Thomson said media brands in general are facing an era of “consumer disloyalty.” The challenge, he said, is how content creators “get credit” in an era where consumers are becoming more and more loyal to the platform — whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube — versus the media company producing the content.
Thomson was named managing editor of the Journal on May 20, 2008. The longtime confidant (and fellow Australian) of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch joined from another News Corp. property, The Times of London, where he was editor.