Rupert Murdoch & Wall Street Journal Feud Over Font

Written by Warren Redlich

Thursday, 19 July 2007

image for Rupert Murdoch & Wall Street Journal Feud Over Font
Rupert Murdoch font for the Wall Street Journal Parenting section

The Wall Street Journal staff and Rupert Murdoch are battling over the future layout of the newspaper. The biggest sticking point appears to be over what font will be used.

Since 2002, the Journal has used a family of fonts called Retina, or H&FJ Retina, by Tobias Frere-Jones. Murdoch is in the process of trying to acquire the Journal as part of his media empire. Various constituencies at the paper have resisted, with editorial independence being discussed widely. The font issue is considered by many to be a part of this.

Retina is well recognized within the community of newspapers as a more traditional and respected font. Murdoch, in an effort to reduce costs, plans to use fonts that will not require paying copyright fees. He also wants fonts that are more appealing to various audiences. Sports stories would have the font Braggadocio, while Art and Culture stories would use Edwardian Script.

The biggest controversy is Murdoch's plan to use Times New Roman for political stories. Fonts with the "Times" name in them are often associated with the New York Times, a long-standing rival of the Wall Street Journal.

The various parties in the negotiations are scheduled to meet next week for further discussions, though the Journal staff is rumored to be upset that Murdoch's invitation to the meeting was printed in Times New Roman.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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