The British (and Australian) invasion at The Wall Street Journal continues, with another high-level executive from the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times of London joining the paper. The new publisher of WSJ. magazine is Sophie Raptis, who was the international business group head responsible for the Times newspaper, its Web site, and several related magazine and newspaper properties. As title manager at Luxx, she worked closely with the glossy quarterly’s editor in chief, Tina Gaudoin, now the editor of WSJ.
The outgoing publisher, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, is being moved to vice president of sales for Weekend Edition and the Luxury sales group, overseeing consumer advertising. In an interview, Wall Street Journal chief revenue officer Michael F. Rooney declined to specify the percentage of the paper’s advertising that falls into that category, but it clearly remains a desired growth sector for the paper. “We’re still relatively new in this category, but it’s really an area where we have the audience — the upscale audience that purchases lots of different consumer products, luxury and otherwise, and [the Journal is] a proven performer,” Rooney said. He noted that, according to the 2008 Mendelsohn Affluent Head of Household Survey, the Journal had grown its female readership year over year by 4 percent.
The Journal launched WSJ. last year, in part to leverage the Journal’s high-end audience to attract luxury advertising. The market timing being rather infelicitous, the Journal suspended plans to eventually go monthly, and the second issue, which appeared in December, had 45 ad pages, compared to the 51 in the September 2008 launch. May, the most recent issue, caused some stir with its Desirée Rogers cover. Rooney said the next issue, September, has not yet closed.