This company covers the news from Wall Street to Main Street. Dow Jones & Company is a leading provider of news and information with a portfolio of newspapers and magazines anchored by The Wall Street Journal, the #1 daily paper in the US, with a circulation of more than 2 million. Dow Jones also publishes international editions of the Journal, serving readers in Asia and Europe. Its Dow Jones Local Media Group, meanwhile, runs a collection of local papers serving smaller communities on the East and West coasts. Beyond newspapers, Dow Jones owns business magazine Barron's, financial news site MarketWatch, SmartMoney magazine, and research service Factiva. The company is a subsidiary of News Corporation.
Like most other news publishers, Dow Jones relies heavily on advertising, subscriptions, and circulation fees for most of its revenue. The company's flagship newspaper continues to buck industry trends with strong circulation figures, while its online companion (run through the Wall Street Journal Digital Network) is one of the few news websites to succeed at generating revenue through subscriptions. The Journal launched a New York City metro section in 2010 to begin transforming itself from strictly business to more mainstream news. The move also put the paper into direct competition with The New York Times (published by The New York Times Company) and sister paper the New York Post. During 2009 the Journal surpassed Gannett's USA TODAY as the top daily in terms of circulation.
The company's prospering units have not shielded it from the challenges facing the newspaper industry, however. Its local papers continue to struggle with declining readership along with the rest of the industry, while other operations such as MarketWatch and Barron's have been hurt by declines in advertising revenue. In response, Dow Jones is focused on improving efficiencies within its news gathering operations, combining its consumer publications and news services division under the leadership of Journal managing editor Robert Thomson in 2010. It later purchased the 50% of SmartMoney magazine it didn't already own from Hearst.
Looking to cut expenses and focus on its publishing operations, Dow Jones sold its financial index business to CME Group in 2010. CME, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, took a 90% stake in the Dow Jones Indexes, including the closely-followed Dow Jones Industrial Average. CME continues to use the Dow Jones brand under a licensing arrangement; the joint venture deal valued the data services at about $675 million.
Dow Jones was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in 2007 for $5.6 billion. The company's controlling Bancroft family acquiesced to being bought out with Dow Jones' stock languishing and investors fearful of the downward trends in the newspaper industry. Murdoch pursued the company through a long and sometimes contentious negotiation, driven in large part by his desire to own the Journal. – less