WSJ.com is on for a major redesign and relaunch soon, and some elements of it are being rolled out now on the site, and some would view it as the Murdoch effect of adding on newer areas into the coverage. Some of its sections such as the Media & Marketing, Law, and Health have seem a facelift. It has also started a separate section for sports coverage, something it didn't have in any major way before...it recently tied up with Stats LLC to add sports data and information to the site. Then, in keeping with what Murdoch has said before about expanding the focus of the paper and the site, a Campaign 2008 section has also been added. Some of this was reported in a Portfolio story on WSJ.com's traffic increase.
What we have learned that WSJ.com is in for a major relaunch sometime in the next few weeks. The company has been working with a major design agency in New York City, and according to someone who knows, spent millions on it, and has developed, among other things, an umbrella design, a network navigational element that will go over all the sites in whole WSJ Digital Network, including WSJ.com, Barrons.com, MarketWatch.com and AllThingsD.com. Also slated for a redesign is FoxBusiness.com and it is likely it will become part of the WSJ network, including design similarities. As to whether this will affect its hybrid subscription-plus-free model, still remains to be seen, but suffice to say the re-design is being done to drive more traffic in a bigger way.
Also, will be interesting to see how this plays into the "Fox Fusion" network we reported on yesterday.
Meanwhile, Gordon McLeod, the president of Wall Street Journal Digital Network, is a speaker at our EconSM conference on April 29th and will be a target of such questions from us.
By Rafat Ali