paidContent - NYT, WSJ Explore Localized Editions; San Francisco First Up?

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times already localize some advertising, delivering inserts or print ads aimed at specific areas within their national footprints. Material syndicated by the WSJ also appears in the Sunday business sections of some papers on branded pages. Now, the NYT reports, the papers are planning localized efforts, starting with San Francisco Bay Area editions. Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) confirms it’s looking a late-year launch, with marketing exec Paul Bascobert telling the Times: “Its a highly educated, internationally minded audience, and our research out there shows theres a market need for a quality news product.”

Unidentified sources say those plans include adding a “page or two” of general-interest California news “probably” weekly to start—not exactly a grand effort or as likely to be a real challenge to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and others as a heavy daily dose of area news. A possible New York edition is further behind in planning. he difference between this and earlier WSJ efforts: the emphasis on general, not local business news. The NYT‘s plans are more murky but are believed to include regional editions beyond SF. Poynter’s Rick Edmonds tells the NYT success could “be seen as administering the final death blows to these metro dailies. I’ll add another concern: distracting the NYT and the WSJ, particularly the latter, from their core missions, and moving resources away from what makes them distinctive.

By Staci D. Kramer