NEW YORK (AP) _ The Wall Street Journal will add pages and color under a three-year expansion plan to take advantage of rising advertising.
Publisher Dow Jones & Co. said Monday it will spend $232 million through 2001 to expand the Journal’s printing capacity to 96 pages from its current 80 pages. The nation’s most widely read newspaper also will be able to print up to 24 color pages, up from eight currently.
Dow Jones chairman Peter Kann, announcing the expansion at an industry conference, said that the extra pages would be used primarily for advertising and are ``expected to add significantly to earnings.″
The Journal’s advertising pages have increased 5.6 percent through May compared with 1997. In the first quarter, Dow Jones’ overall ad revenue rose 7 percent to $244.7 million, which also includes Barron’s magazine and Ottaway newspaper group.
The Journal, which has a U.S. circulation of 1.8 million, first published color ad pages in 1995.
The latest expansion is part of Dow Jones’ attempts to boost earnings following the sale of Dow Jones Markets, the money-losing financial information service that the company sold to Bridge Information Systems. The subsidiary had been a drag on the company’s earnings and stock price as it fell behind fast-growing competition.
Costs related to the sale will reduce second-quarter earnings by $98 million. But Dow Jones plans to use proceeds to buy back up to $300 million in stock, and Kann said the company will explore some acquisitions and corporate alliances.