NewFronts ’14: WSJ launches digital video magazine

The Wall Street Journal unveiled a variety of new shows and digital platforms at its NewFronts presentation in Manhattan, as part of its investment in what editor-in-chief Gerard Baker (pictured, left) called "truly interactive video."
May 5, 2014

By Aaron Leaf

As part of its NewFronts presentation in Manhattan on Friday morning (May 2), The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) unveiled a variety of new shows and digital platforms, as part of its investment in what editor-in-chief Gerard Baker called “truly interactive video.”

In a room with a large dynamic wall streaming real-time social news content curated by Storyful, the firm debuted two new platforms for video, including the digital video magazine Signal. “The 10 Point,” which is Baker’s 100,000-subscriber morning email newsletter, will now also start carrying video interviews.

According to Michael W. Miller, the journal’s senior deputy managing editor, Signal “will bring you now what everyone is talking about later” in the form of excerpts from top filmmakers and emerging talents, interviews with luminaries and a curated mix of short video dispatches from Journal contributors around the world.

For a taste of what is to come, Baker did an on-stage interview (pictured above) with Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova, who survived the 2004 Thailand Tsunami, about her work with children affected by the crisis.

Along with the new video new platforms, the WSJ will continue two of its original programs.

The Short Answer, hosted by Jason Bellini, will continue unpacking news using facts from experts and WSJ coverage, data and simple graphics. Billed as “the ultimate explainer,” Bellini attempts to stand apart from existing network-news formulas, while explaining everything from the science of flight MH370 to markets and foreign policy. Dispatches will be no longer than two minutes; a length the WSJ has found – using metrics on completion rates and sharing – to be the video sweet spot.

Meanwhile, season two of Startup of the Year, a reality show that tracks 24 entrepreneurs as they undergo 20 weeks of competition under the guidance of 48 international business leaders, will feature a cast of all-female innovators.

Using its 1,800 worldwide journalists and Storyful, the social news agency acquired by Newscorp last year, the WSJ is expanding its custom video production for advertisers with three new studios in Hong Kong, London and New York.

According to Trevor Fellows, global head of advertising sales, the Journal is able to develop video advertising using precise data tools to give it an understanding of how customers interact and engage. It had 44 million streams in March, double that of a year ago. With the WSJ‘s 32 strategic partners on platforms including Apple, Roku and Youtube, the firm expects growth this year.

The media company also announced a new iPad edition of its publication, and a complete redesign of and WSJ.d, its recently launched digital home for tech coverage.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.