Murdoch’s plans for WSJ: it would be nice to “kill” the New York Times

Later this year Rupert Murdoch will actually get his hands on his new prize, the Wall Street Journal. Jonathan Richards has stories in today’s Times and Guardian based on a speech and an interview with Murdoch following a San Francisco Internet conference, about his plans for the U.S. newspaper icon. In the stories, the planned new WSJ entity sound like a death star, or perhaps a pit bull. And , I think, with our short memories and focus on junk journalism, it’s quite possible that nobody will even remember that Murdoch promised as part of his takeover bid not to interefere with WSJ editorial decisions.

From the Guardian: Murdoch “has laid out drastic plans to shake up the Wall Street Journal and launch an assault on the mainstream American newspaper industry …  last night said he wanted to move the newspaper beyond its financial roots and target mainstream competitors such as the New York Times. …

The report quoted Murdoch saying he wants to “improve it” in areas of finance, national and international news and coverage of cultural issues to draw ads from movie studios, and add major coverage of the arts, fashion and culture. “When asked whether he was aiming to kill the New York Times, Mr Murdoch replied simply: “That would be nice.””

The story also mentioned Murdoch’s take on social networking sites including FaceBook and MySpace, and a bit about his plans for a new Fox business channel.