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Wall Street Journal to slash international print runs

Wall Street Journal to slash international print runs

The Wall Street Journal is to beat a tactical retreat from print outside the US as publisher News Corp chooses to focus instead on digital subscriptions throughout Europe and Asia.

According to the Financial Times, this will make physical copies of the business and finance-oriented paper virtually extinct in Europe with copies absent from retailers, airport lounges and hotels.

Dedicated consumers who wish to grab hold of a copy may still be able to do so via a mail order subscription service however – although Journal bosses are still debating whether to allow even this minimal presence.

In Asia, matters aren’t quite so bleak as discussions are underway to form a potential print joint venture in order to maintain distribution, while in Rupert Murdoch’s home turf of Australia edited highlights remain available as inserts within the Australian.

In a statement Dow Jones, the News Corp division which owns the WSJ, said: “We are constantly examining the balance between print and digital at a time when we’re seeing sharp growth in customer demand for digital. Over the past year, WSJ digital subscriptions have more than doubled in Asia and they have grown by 48% in Europe.”

In common with other publishers, the Journal is battling to arrest continued falls in print advertising, which fell a further 20% in 2016, forcing it to shift attention from print toward digital distribution. This strategy is already bearing fruit with 118,000 digital subscriptions being added over the first quarter.

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