Have you ever noticed that outside New York, people refer to the Wall Street Journal either by its official, three-word name or by the more familiar "Wall Street," whereas in New York, it's simply "The Journal?"
I wonder if that means that here in New York we have no need to emphasize the separate nature of business news.
But that's not the point of this post. I think it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that the deal will go through, "whatever Murdoch wants, Murdoch gets." Jeff Jarvis last week commented on the fact that News Corp. is a particularly good place to work; I have a friend pretty high up there who has worked for Murdoch for 20 years and confirms that he is an excellent boss. He allows great freedom to his direct reports and rewards their loyalty generously. While my own political views are diametrically opposed to Murdoch's, I have enormous respect for his business management and vision.
More interesting, perhaps, then the opportunity for News Corp. to synergize the WSJ to create a cable rival to MSNBC would be the marshalling of the MySpace platform for business-to-business community development. Jerry Bowles and your humble servant have been out evangelizing that business communities sharing news and opinion around specific interests is the wave of the not-very-distant future. Over-simplified, this would resemble an editorial model that is more like "hey, are you creating a supply chain nightmare for your competitor?", waiting for a response and prompting a long conversation vs. lobbing your editorial shot and calling it a day.
We see huge value in publishers accepting the notion that they will need to send their content out into the ether for a democratic going-over, and to accept that their brand may need to be stretched to accommodate content outside their four walls. (We say this with the basis of an experience of so many years in business-to-business publishing that combined they are almost as numerous as Murdoch's time on this earth.) While other publishers are slouching into the new paradigm, none have the platform that Murdoch owns, or the experience of community management and development.
Perhaps Murdoch, the old dog, sees this future. If he takes over from the Bancroft family, he will have no real "legacy" system to defend. He's demonstrated an instinctive trust in new technologies and a willingness to pay top dollar for them. And most importantly, he will trust his lieutenants to give it a go.