Greg Schneiders, a founding partner at the Prime Group, emailed in the following guest post. – Todd

Among the many, many reasons for the less-than-effective response of traditional media to the new challenges and competition they face, one of the most annoying is their inability to peel their eyes away from their collective navel. Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal provides the latest and, perhaps, most egregious example.

Judging by Wednesday’s edition of the print WSJ, one would have to assume that nothing else happened in the world in the previous twenty-four hours since the paper contained what seemed like wall-to-wall coverage of the deal and its seismic consequences. Even more coverage was available on the WSJ website which labeled the deal “historic.” Historic?

The New York Times was not to be outdone in the arrogance department however and editorialized that, “at its most ambitious, Mr. Murdoch’s vision for Dow Jones would establish The Journal as the rival to The Times in setting the daily news agenda of the country” (if we do say so ourselves). Are they in a time warp? It should be fairly obvious that Murdoch has no interest in politicizing The Journal because:

  1. He’s a political ideologue, true, but first and foremost he’s a businessman;
  2. The Journal is only worth $5B (if at all) because of its brand, not its assets or earning power;
  3. You don’t trash the brand you just paid dearly for.
  4. There is no market for a politicized WSJ – he’d lose the current business market because they wouldn’t trust it and he’s not going to pick up the Fox News or tabloid market;
  5. Given his strategy of marrying The Journal with a Fox finance channel, all the above applies doubly.

Seems to me all the folks at the WSJ, the Times and elsewhere in the old media world would do better to learn from Murdoch’s boldness and vision and stop wringing their hands, watching their navels, and pining for days gone by.