'WSJ' Reports Digital Ad Rev Up, Jabs At 'Times'

Les-Hinton

Digital ad revenue at The Wall Street Journal was up a healthy 30% during its most recent quarter, according to a company memo circulated Wednesday.

"As a basis of comparison, for the same three month period The New York Times has forecast ... total digital advertising revenue ... to rise 14%," Les Hinton, CEO and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, boasted in the memo. The memo was published Wednesday by PoynterOnline.

During the quarter, which just ended last week, overall print and online revenue was up 17% year-over-year, while print ad revenue was up 21%.

For the same period, Hinton noted, the Times forecast total print and online revenue to fall 2% to 3% year-over-year, and total print advertising revenue to decline by 5%.

Touting several new projects, including WSJ Weekend and new daily Life & Style content, Hinton said: "These enhancements have proved attractive to advertisers as our fiscal 2011 first-quarter numbers bear out. They are positive in their own right and even more striking when compared with others in the industry."

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Meanwhile, when factoring in digital, Hinton said total circulation during the most recent quarter was up 13%.

"Our fiscal 2011 first-quarter numbers show that this is our fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in print and digital advertising," Hinton added. "Our investment in our products continues to pay off."

For its fiscal third quarter, News Corp. said in May that revenue at WSJ.com was up 11%, while Dow Jones saw over $100 million in digital ad revenue.

It's no secret that News. Corp. head Rupert Murdoch is hell-bent on toppling The New York Times' cultural prominence -- even if it doesn't make short-term economic sense.

Earlier this year, for instance, News Corp. was offering steep discounts to advertise in The Journal, sources told The Financial Times. The sharp discounts preceded the launch of WSJ's New York edition.

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