Holiday Reading: GQ‘s ‘The Day the Journal Died’

murdoch wef.pngBefore we sign off here for a few days, we thought we would leave you with a very interesting oral history of the sale of the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp., brought to you by GQ.

Yes, the men’s magazine, not particularly known for its sweeping media commentary, has a lengthy piece about the Journal‘s purchase two years ago. The Web exclusive quotes almost 50 experts about the days leading up the sale and its aftermath, including former WSJ staffers and members of the Bancroft family, which used to own the paper.

You must read it in its entirety to hear the disapproval of the sale by almost everyone quoted, but it’s not all bad news. In fact, Murdoch is actually hiring and working to expand the paper, turning into a “first-read paper” instead of “everyone’s second paper.” As former editor Urban Lehner said:

“To me the salient thing about the first year under News Corp is that the Journal expanded the number of pages it devoted to news. Basically it’s been out there trying to increase the size of the staff rather than decrease it. To me that’s the whole name of the game: Are you committed enough to invest in the future, and do you have the guts to do it? You look around the country at what’s happening to newspapers everywhere, including some of the big ones, and then you look at what Murdoch has done with the Journal in [his first] year, and you have to salute him.”

Although’s piece is critical of Murdoch and the direction of his Journal, positive gems like that one may help keep this story off the media mogul’s bad side. We already know what can happen if that was not the case.

The Day the Journal Died –