The Wall Street Journal uses an astounding 30 to 60 staffers to produce an underwhelming webcast knockoff of CNBC, says Business Insider. (Update: WSJ says closer to 10.) That would help explain the rumors that the newspaper is hemorrhaging money.
Whispers emanating from the Journal's parent, News Corp., have the paper on track to lose $100 million this year, says one tipster. That's hard to believe, given the $59 million contribution that Journal publisher Dow Jones made to News Corp.'s bottom line as recently as the last quarter of 2008. But Dow Jones profits fell in both of the quarters reported since, according to public earnings reports. News Corp. didn't give precise figures for Dow Jones or the Journal, but did disclose that all News Corp. newspapers saw combined profits fall 97 percent January through April and revenue fall 24 percent in the three months after that.
The Journal could cut some costs by slicing its ridiculous video army down to one guy, plus a cameraman with a cheap recorder, and maybe a video editor. After all, as Current TV's Brett Erlich has show, it's possible to create some seriously fun financial programming with bare-bones production values. Or the Journal can just keep imitating cable news networks, even to the point of absurdly saying "we're running out of time," as the host did toward the end of today's "AM Report." After all, it's not like News Corp. owns a real financial net of its own, or anything.
UPDATE: Dow Jones says it uses "less than 10 staffers" to make the video, and Business Insider has updated its post to reflect that assertion, adding it got its earlier number from "people involved in the show."