With News Corp.'s purchase of Dow Jones now all but certain, there's a lot of discussion about whether Rupert Murdoch will pull a Mikhail Gorbachev and tear down that (pay)wall
at the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday we argued that if the Financial Times wants to raise its profile in the US, it should do just that, as a way of differentiating itself from the Journal
. At this point, there's no way of knowing whether Murdoch will make the move first and preempt Pearson (parent company of the Financial Times). You have to figure that he has other things on his mind right now than how best to monetize the Wall Street Journal online. But, seeing as part of the deal's rationale is to bolster the credibility of Fox's forthcoming business channel, it makes sense to make the Journal's content more widely available. Another possibility, put forward by the founder of MarketWatch (also a Dow Jones property), is to tie MarketWatch in with Fox
, leaving the Journal as it is, a premium offering for non-retail investors. But, realistically, the MarketWatch brand doesn't carry near the value that the Journal does -- if Murdoch is really intent on bolstering its business channel, it has to do it by leveraging the Journal.