News Corp. ready to set WSJ.com free

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Rupert Murdoch told reporters back in his native Australia that News Corporation is already pacing ahead of its guidance for its fiscal Q2 and he seems anxious to take control of Dow Jones & Co. Murdoch confirmed that he plans to make the Wall Street Journal website, generally regarded as the most successful subscription site on the Internet, free. "We are studying it and we expect to make [WSJ.com] free and, instead of having one million [paying subscribers], having at least 10-15 million in every corner of the earth," Murdoch told reporters in Adelaide, Australia, where his father launched what is now a worldwide media empire.


Despite the success of the subscription model for WSJ.com, Murdoch figures attracting many more eyeballs to the site will attract many more advertising dollars. Since News Corporation cut its deal to acquire Dow Jones & Co. for 5.6 billion, Wall Street analysts had repeatedly asked Murdoch whether he intended to switch the Wall Street Journal website from paid subscriptions to ad-supported. Until now he had hedged a bit on answering, but it appears he has now made up his mind and will go for the ad bucks rather than paid subscriptions.


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