WORLD: MEDIUM OF THE WEEK - The Wall Street Journal pulls in Europe's 'C-suite'

Its focus on what matters to business gives WSJ a strong appeal. This year sees the 20th anniversary of The Wall Street Journal Europe.

Although it's still a fledgling compared with the 114-year-old US publication, the Journal's European operation has rapidly become a force to be reckoned with. Ranked in the latest European Business Readership Survey as the fastest-growing international title, its readership grew by 81 percent in the ten years to 2002 and its current circulation is still increasing in turbulent economic times to stand at 95,000.

The Wall Street Journal is one of the grand old men of international business media. Its parent company is the venerable Dow Jones and the WSJ Europe is part of a news network of 1,600 news staff worldwide.

But how has it managed to hold on to such a respected position?

A lot comes down to its focus. "The mission of The Wall Street Journal is to produce an insight into global news and events and how that affects businesses and economies around the world," Phil Kramer, the advertising director of WSJ Europe, says.

Of course, the business elite that wants to digest that sort of information is a gift to many advertisers. "So much of our readership is what we call the C-suite," Kramer says, by which he means CEOs, CFOs and COOs. "It's one of the most powerful audiences in the world in terms of the decisions they influence and the money they control, the purchasing power."

Apart from the readers' influential spheres of business, the average reader of WSJ Europe has a household income of $336,000 and an average household investment of $2, 419,000.

One of the reasons that the Journal has maintained its credibility into the 21st century is the scale of its operations. As well as the US and European editions, there's also a well-established Asian publication.

The overall circulation of its various editions nudges 20 million worldwide. And its online presence at WSJ.com is the largest paid- subscription news site on the web, with more than 670,00 subscribers.

The Journal constantly has an eye to expansion. In the US, a recent initiative has been to produce WSJ sections for regional Sunday papers. Such a move could be emulated in Europe.

The regional editions not only allow for a more meaningful read, but they feed off each other to give the Journal a more international significance. "It isn't enough to win in the US," Kramer says. "We have to be successful - read and used - all over the world."

Sold in 80 countries

Ad rates: Colour full page, US edition: $215,584; four-colour

full page, Europe: $48,655 (42,229 euros)

Direct rivals: The FT, The International Herald Tribune (in Europe),

Time (in Asia), USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week (US edition)

Circulation US: 1,820,600; Europe: 95,802; Asia: 81,389

Languages: 14

Classroom: Edition for high-school students, WSJ.com, 200 radio

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