WSJ Launches ‘Greater New York’

Rupert Murdoch’s shot at the Times is packed with local ads, but is it a paper tiger?

The Wall Street Journal launched its highly-anticipated New York section on Monday.

Dubbed "Greater New York" it’s Rupert Murdoch’s shot across the bow at the New York Times, which last week tried to curb talk of a burgeoning coverage war while maintaining it was born ready for this fight.

Running 15 pages, the new section itself is packed with local ads — Monet at the Gagosian Gallery, Saks, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and "Jersey Boys" alongside Delta and Rolex — something Times executives predicted would happen, claiming the Journal would slash rates in order to beef up the launch offering.

The coverage itself is what you might expect from a New York WSJ section — "Rats Mob the Upper East Side"! "Police Let Terrorist Slip Through"! "Secrets of the Subway Swipe"! (There are "secrets" to swiping a Metro Card? Seriously?) — minus the new sports section, which gamely makes fun of itself in its introduction:

"Yes, The Wall Street Journal has a new daily New York sports department. … Isn’t that like ESPN covering mergers and acquisitions? Are we going to ask Joba Chamberlain for a long-range commodities forecast? Pardon us, Mark Sanchez–will you pass the Grey Poupon?"

Meanwhile, at a breakfast in New York announcing the launch, WSJ managing editor Robert Thomson had the Times-aiming knives out.

“If you really must read The New York Times, read it on the Web for free and then buy The Wall Street Journal," Thomson said.

Later, he compared the Times to "blather of the blog":

“If newspapers allow opinion into their news columns, what differentiates them from the blather of the blog?”

More to read:

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[Image via Guardian]