Lost amid yesterday’s vigorous shit-talking between the leadership of The Wall Street Journal and New York Times was a little news made by Journal managing editor Robert Thomson. During the breakfast celebrating the expansion of the paper’s metro coverage with its new “Greater New York” section, Thomson let slip that there would be another press conference in the near future about the Weekend Edition, the paper’s Saturday-Sunday edition that was launched in 2005. Weekend Edition was launched in part to lure more of the consumer advertising they’re pursuing with the “Greater New York” section. At yesterday’s breakfast, the paper’s leadership projected the names of 40-odd high-end advertisers they’d lured to the new section, names like Van Cleef & Arpels, Paul Stuart, Loews Hotels, Saks, and Bloomingdale’s. (The advertisers are being offered extremely steep discounts to test the waters at the Journal: full-page ads, which usually cost up to $90,000, are being offered for $19,000 — with free ad space in the New York Post thrown in, to boot!)
The launch of their much-anticipated section was not the only reason that Journal readership must have been slapping one another on the back yesterday: Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers, which put newspaper circulation down 9 percent across the board nationally, reported that the Journal saw an increase in weekday circulation last year, the only of the top 25 large papers to do so. (Though rivals of the Journal are always quick to point out that the finance newspaper’s circulation numbers are boosted by the fact that users who pay to see content on the website or on a Kindle are included, as they are not with other papers.) Its rival, the Times, saw newsstand sales and home delivery down by 100,000.