Does the Bancroft family really want the Journal to be part of the show-biz style media business? That’s what will happen to the fine editorial staff at WSJ and the news service once the Bancrofts’ take Mr. Murdoch’s $5 B (okay, if they take GE/NBC’s and Microsoft’s money almost the same thing will happen. But at least Fox News won’t be the editorial model). Here’s a chilling excerpt about Mr. Murdoch and News Corp.’s digital data-mining and targeting operation over at MySpace and Fox Interactive (via Forbes):
“Soon MySpace’s ad salesmen will use software that sifts through its members’ profile pages and sorts them based on the often piercingly personal information they pin up on their pages. Then they’ll compile ‘buckets’ of its members and offer them up to advertisers. Looking for married men who live in the U.S. and own dogs? Single women with college degrees who drive pickup trucks? For a fee, MySpace will deliver you directly to their cyber doorstep.”
imediaconnection says “[C]onsider what this means. If Murdoch’s vision for the digital ad world of tomorrow can be reconciled with his power plays of today, he can revolutionize the way marketers approach me when I sit down to watch the next Super Bowl… think how much Anheuser-Busch might pay Murdoch to know that I prefer an import like Tiger beer (another of their fine brews). Now, imagine a media buy where Murdoch can serve up everything the beer-maker wants to know about me and the rest of the people on MySpace while we all tune in to watch the big game. I’ll get the Tiger ad, my neighbor will get the Bud ad, Anheuser-Busch will get a huge ROI, and Murdoch will make money every step of the way. “
Murdoch’s News Corp. will eventually have the Fox Interactive model shape its entire editorial landscape. Such a system will see the Journal’s vaunted news operation reduced to being considered sticky content for online marketers. Surely, the Bancroft family can broker a deal that truly preserves editorial integrity for this key news resource.
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