In the Age of Trump, the Wall Street Journal has kept its head down.
It has not stressed the necessity of its journalism, à la the New York Times and its “Truth is Hard” ad campaign or The Washington Post with its new slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” nor has it made a big deal about subscriber growth in the wake of Trump’s election.
But privately, the Journal is celebrating significant subscriber growth. In presentations to staff this week, Carla Zanoni, an executive editor for audience development, announced that the Journal added 300,000 combined print and digital subscriptions in the first three months of 2017, two sources who attended the presentations told CNNMoney.
That figure is on par with the Times, which announced 308,000 new digital news subscriptions in the same three-month period. (The Times also added 276,000 digital news subscriptions in the last three months of 2016, while the Journal added 113,000 digital subscriptions over that same period.)
The Journal declined to confirm the 300,000 figure, but parent company News Corp will hold an earnings call on Tuesday afternoon and CEO Robert Thomson is expected to address the paper’s subscriber growth.
Zanoni’s presentation also provided insights into the Journal’s subscriber base, which is overwhelmingly wealthy older men: 79% of Journal subscribers are male, 88% are above the age of 50 and 70% make over $100,000 a year, according to her presentation. More than nine of every ten Journal readers (92%) have a college education, Zanoni’s presentation said, according to the sources.
Zanoni also advised Journal reporters to focus on shorter stories that broke information out into bullet-points, the sources said. She said readers surveyed by the Journal had expressed an interest in shorter news items.
“It reminded me of Axios,” one of the sources said, referring to the new digital news service that has put a premium on short, concise news items.