Inside the Wall Street Journal: The History and the Power of Dow Jones & Company and America's Most Influential Newspaper

By Jerry M. Rosenberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
The Second Front

The Wall Street Journal today begins an expansion of its news coverage. To accomodate this, the paper is being divided into two sections.

WARREN PHILIPS, Dow Jones chairman

THAT NOTICE TO READERS, which appeared on the front page of the Journal's June 23, 1980, issue, heralded the most sweeping physical change in the history of the Journal: the debut of its second section.

The smooth introduction of a two-section newspaper was the result of more than a year of meticulous planning and a coordinated effort on the part of the news and production departments. There were many discussions among news executives, meetings with nearly all Journal reporters, "focus group" interviews with Journal readers, changes in printing and production systems, and five weeks of dry runs.

Detailed planning began in April, 1979, when Fred Zimmerman agreed to come to New York from Atlanta and serve as an editor of the second front. Four key questions had to be answered right away: What would the second front page look like? What kind of stories would go on it? Who would edit them? How would production of a two-section Journal be handled?

Zimmerman and executive editor Fred Taylor, who had overall charge of the project, spent hours and hours finding answers to them. By the time final decisions were made, all bureau chiefs had been

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