Inside the Wall Street Journal
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 A gossipy, albeit unsparing, critique of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, from an erstwhile insider. Dealy (Win at Any Cost, 1990) first reviews the company's founding in the late 19th century and its rise to global prominence after WW II. Along the way, he pays graceful tribute to Clarence Barron, Barney Kilgore, and others whose vision and daring made the Journal an influential source of financial intelligence and an outspoken advocate of free enterprise. Getting down to business, the author (who once worked for Dow Jones) casts a cold eye on the increasingly serious problems faced by the parent organization and its flagship publication. He does so with evident relish, plus a sharp eye for dirty linen and in-house politics--recounting, for instance, how Journal competitors beat it to the punch on such major stories as the S&L scandal and Michael Milken's junk-bond follies. Covered as well are the unavailing, often disastrous, efforts of Dow Jones to diversify and to reduce its dependence on a single national newspaper whose advertising revenues, circulation, and profits have been slipping. In forthright fashion that would do credit to a Journal leader, Dealy blames the company's woes on the caretaker mentality and bad judgment of Warren Phillips (its recently retired CEO) and his successor, Peter Kann--a Pulitzer-winner who's yet to prove himself a capable executive. Also targeted for censure is Kann's wife, Karen Elliott House, a Dow Jones VP who's not loath to throw her weight around. Whether Dow Jones is on a down slope as steep as that coursed by, say, IBM remains an open question. But at the very least, Dealy's bare-knuckle audit (which should set media circles abuzz) suggests that the situation bears watching. (Sixteen pages of photos--not seen)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-55972-118-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993