Dow Jones Merging Asian Operations

By: Margaret Wong, Associated Press Writer

(AP) Dow Jones & Co. will merge the news operations of its two Asian publications, the Asian Wall Street Journal newspaper and the Far Eastern Economic Review weekly magazine.

Thirty-six editorial jobs will be cut, most of them in Hong Kong, where both publications are based. The cuts represent nearly a quarter of the combined editorial staff of 150, the company said in announcing the move Thursday.

Philip Revzin, the publisher of both publications, said in an interview that the combination would provide “a more efficient way to produce the two publications.” Revzin said the job cuts would be completed by the end of the year.

Revzin would not specify how much money Dow Jones hopes to save with the cutbacks. Other Hong Kong media have also made cutbacks amid the economic slowdown, including the South China Morning Post and the tabloid Hong Kong iMail, which slashed 100 jobs.

Revzin said Dow Jones will combine some editorial offices in Asian cities that now have separate facilities for the newspaper and the magazine, but he declined to say which cities would be affected. The company has eight news bureaus in Asia.

Revzin said there were no current plans to cut any of the 200 people employed by the business departments of the two publications.

At the end of June, the Asian Wall Street Journal had a daily circulation of 92,000 copies, up 16% from the same month last year, he said. The Far Eastern Economic Review had a weekly circulation of about 100,000, up 3% from a year ago.

But an advertising slump has affected all of Dow Jones’ publications, especially The Wall Street Journal. Last month the company reported a decline of 64% in its third-quarter profits, excluding write-downs and other one-time items.

Dow Jones also publishes Barron’s, Dow Jones Newswires, SmartMoney magazine in a partnership with Hearst Magazines, and numerous stock market indicators, including the Dow Jones industrial average. Dow Jones also co-owns the news database Factiva with Reuters and CNBC’s television operations in Europe and Asia together with NBC.

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