Wall Street Journal Asia opts for bolder look

The Wall Street Journal has unveiled one of its biggest design changes in recent years, offering up a more visual look and greater integration with its online portal.

As part of a series of ongoing changes under Asia editor-in-chief Almar Latour, the Journal will today put a number of changes into practice.

In the final hours of going to press on new issue, Marketing was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes preview of the new pages.

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The biggest and most noticeable is the front page of The Wall Street Journal Asia, which has been cleaned up, with a bigger masthead, bolder images, easy to follow navigation bars and enhanced stock-market listings.

Its Money & Investing liftout has been renamed and integrated into the newspaper as a new Business & Finance section, comprising Corporate News, more extensive markets coverage and statistical analysis, including the Deal Journal Asia column.

Other changes include expanded wealth and technology coverage, new columns like "Tech Bazaar" and a weekly column offering content from the Journal's recently launched website, China Real Time Report.

An expanded Heard on the Street column will now feature on its back page and its Weekend Journal Asia supplement will continue on Fridays.

Latour told Marketing the redesign was a natural step for the newspaper and marked further integration between its online and offline news teams.

"I really believe in a strong interplay with online and print. There's a lot of energy going into online and we want to maximise that," he said.

"There is still a real craving for good business and financial coverage and at the same time there's a lot going on in media at large."

Online, Latour said there was now a lot more emphasis on video and multimedia offerings like the WSJ Mobile Reader.

On the advertising front, Christine Brendle, publisher of The Wall Street Journal Asia and Asia MD of Dow Jones Consumer Media Group, said the new sections, layouts and navigation create a range of new ad opportunities.

"Advertisers and marketers will be well served by the redesign," she said.

News Corp, which acquired Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal Asia in 2007, has initiated a similar redesign of its European newspaper.