Rupert Murdoch to buy the Wall Street Journal - how will this affect the brand?

The Wall Street Journal is a titan brand in American journalism--very strong, well-respected, and elite.

Rupert Murdoch is an international king of mainstream entertainment--also a very strong brand in his own right, and owner of the strong FOX entertainment brand--but not elite.

How will the purchase by Rupert Murdoch of the Wall Street Journal affect the newspaper's brand?

An article today's Wall Street Journal (August 1, 2007) delves at length into Murdoch's possible plans post-purchase and the results are somewhat inconclusive. What is clear: Murdoch wants the Journal to make more money. He may expand the Journal's presence online. And he will likely position the Journal as more of a competitor to the New York Times by adding more general interest news.

The unspoken question on everybody's mind is: will the editorial quality of the Wall Street Journal remain the same?

Not only that, but will the BUSINESS editorial quality remain the same?

As Murdoch leverages the Journal's brand equity, he mustn't forget where that equity derives from: being a top source of in-depth business news reporting. If he does, the brand is doomed.