Now that its shareholders have officially blessed the takeover of Dow Jones
Some of those changes have already been hinted at, but it's also fun to speculate about what other tricks might be up the longtime media lord's sleeve. For instance, he's already said that he plans to increase the paper's Washington and national coverage in order to go toe to toe against New York Times'
Changes on the horizon
In addition, Rupert wants to increase the online offerings beyond what I'd already thought was a strong complement. We already know that the Journal will most likely drop its subscription wall, but it'll possibly take a page from its successful MySpace business and add greater online community features.
As part of an overseas expansion, it's been announced that Pursuits, the glossy publication planned for next year, will go global, finding a home in both the European and Asian Journals. If more international expansion enters the picture, then Murdoch might be saddling up to take on Pearson
In part because of those changes, I'm betting that the Journal will become somewhat livelier once Robert Thomson, currently the editor of News Corp.'s Times of London, becomes its publisher. The book on Thomson is that he made the Times a stronger paper during his five years at its helm, and it's hard to see how these moves can fail to boost the pizzazz quotient of the Journal.
Don't be surprised if your paper is lighter, either. Rupert's apparently been heard to mutter about the Journal's tendency toward excessively long articles.
Fixing what's not broken
I suppose it'd be easy to grouse about not fixing something that isn't broken. But to one degree or another, all daily newspapers are wounded. In large part because of the demographics of its audience, the Journal's just hobbling less noticeably than most.
With that in mind, I think it'll be fun to track the changes that America's favorite financial daily will soon undergo. Add in the potential changes at the Journal to the possibilities opened up by the new Fox Business Network, and I'll also be much more inclined to keep an eye on News Corp. as a potential investment than I might have been in the past.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith is the proud owner of what may be the world's tallest stack of Wall Street Journals. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned, but he does welcome your comments. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is black and white and read all over.