WSJ: Our print edition has had 17 consecutive quarters of circulation revenue growth

Romenesko Memos

Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton tells staffers that ad revenue for the paper’s U.S. print edition was up 7 percent in the first quarter, and circulation revenue was up almost 8 percent. For the digital editions, ad revenue was up 19 percent, and circulation revenue jumped 22 percent.

At the New York Times, news group ad revenue fell 3.7% in the same quarter. Where the Journal’s total circulation revenue improved 8% in the quarter ended March, circulation revenue at the Times fell by 3.7%.

Read the full memo.

From: Les_Hinton
Date: May 5, 2011 1:59:08 PM EDT
To:
Subject: Accomplishments, Results Distinguish Dow Jones in Third Quarter

Dear colleagues,

We enter this final fiscal quarter of 2011 with many accomplishments to our collective credit.

We continue to bring to the market new products that demonstrate not only the value of quality content but the capacity of Dow Jones to harness technology to the benefit of readers and customers.

Factiva is more intuitive, global, mobile and an indispensible engine of business awareness and intelligence. DJ FX Trader is still new and already yielding essential and valuable insights into the foreign-exchange market. Its utility was endorsed the best possible way when some of the world’s biggest banks were among the first to sign on. We are a leader among publishers on the tablet-computer platform, creating a new and dynamic experience for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Dow Jones Investment Banker and soon Factiva too.

Our journalism continues to inform and enlighten audiences around the globe in a time of great tumult. We are grateful for the efforts and the courage of those who have performed with excellence amidst the devastation in Japan and through change and uncertainty in the Middle East.

Our progress is measurable. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2011, Dow Jones revenue increased 5%. That figure includes strong results from the Journal’s U.S. print edition (ad revenue up 7%, circulation revenue up almost 8%) and its digital editions (ad revenue up 19%, circulation revenue up 22%). Our business-to-business operations, by the third quarter, were showing new strength after the extended impact of the financial crisis.

Ours is an uncommon story in the news business. The Journal’s total ad revenue rose 2.6% in the fiscal third quarter, our sixth consecutive quarter of growth. At the New York Times, news group ad revenue fell 3.7% in the same quarter. Where the Journal’s total circulation revenue improved 8% in the quarter ended March, circulation revenue at the Times fell by 3.7%. The print Journal alone has recorded 17 consecutive quarters of circulation-revenue growth, including nearly 6% in the third quarter, as we broadened and improved it. What other newspaper can tell that story?

We achieved this growth with compelling ideas and with business discipline. The fact that we’re already counting many millions in incremental subscription and advertising dollars from our products on tablet computers says a lot about our ability to seize the opportunities of new technology.

To make sure we can carry on building on our successes, we must continue to manage both investment and expense aggressively. I want to thank you all for your contributions.

Thank you.

Best,

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