Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Murdock, the WSJ Health Blog, and Beyond!

While much attention has been paid to Peter Rost taking over NRx -- the blog formerly known as BrandweekNRx -- no one has voiced concern over the impact Rupert Murdoch will have on the tenor of the WSJ Health Blog, which is one of the venerable stars in the Pharma Blogosphere.

I scan the WSJ Health Blog every day, but seldom read every post. Frankly, aside from the headlines, it's a little bland -- just like the WSJ itself. It also lacks personality -- several different journalists contribute to the blog and there is no single, discernible voice. But, it is informative, covers the important issues and gets the facts straight, all of which should please Christiane Truelove who covers the Pharma Blogosphere in her weekly "Pharma Blogs: Week in Review" newsletter.

But the WSJ Blog gets scant mention in Truelove's newsletter and is seldom referenced by other bloggers in this space. Maybe that's just my impression -- let me know if you disagree.

Not the WSJ Health Blog needs us bloggers to help it get readers -- links to the blog are front page and center on the main WSJ web page and in practically every health related online article published by the WSJ.
Will Murdoch make changes to the WSJ Health Blog? If so, what changes will he or should he make?

Fard Johnmar over at HealthcareVOX counted off "4 Reasons Why The News Corp Dow Jones Merger May Be Good For Communications Pros."

Probably the most important reason Fard mentions is the influx of "fresh ideas" and Fard thinks that is good:
"Overall, Murdoch seems to understand that the media business needs fresh ideas. If he finds new ways to monetize content and deliver it to more people more power to him. Change ladies and gentlemen is good."
Certainly, like the WSJ itself, the Health Blog could benefit from NEW readers and a wider audience.

Fard also believes that Murdoch needs to take care that WSJ journalists are not stolen away by the NY Times, Washington Post, and their ilk. "One of Murdoch’s first tasks is to prevent talent from fleeing the paper."

Au contraire, Fard! Murdoch should allow the WSJ old-schoolers to flee and bring in "fresh" blood to take their place. Maybe he should even hire bloggers who have few journalistic scruples, which surely have hindered the ultimate monetization of the WSJ up until now.

So here's an idea along those lines for Mr. Murdoch: Hire Peter Rost to write for the WSJ Health Blog!

Is that a crazy idea or what? You tell me!

Should Murdock Hire Rost?
Yes, why didn't I think of that?!
No, are you nuts?

Personal note to Peter Rost:
Do you see my entire plan now, Peter? First, I sow seeds of doubt regarding Brandweek's decision to hire you... Then, as that door closes, I open a new, bigger window for you with Murdoch! Take the leap! Brandweek will gladly let you out of your contract with them and you will be free to move on to the next stage of your plan to dominate the pharma blogosphere!

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