The makings of a legend
Charles H. Dow, Edward D. Jones and Charles Bergstresser founded Dow Jones & Company in 1882. The trio worked out of a small basement office near the New York Stock Exchange. Dow Jones soon offered a two-page bulletin that introduced the Dow Jones Average. On July 8, 1889, the company sold its first issue of The Wall Street Journal at two cents a copy. Later came the Dow Jones News Service, which sent information over telegraph wires and printed it with the help of tickers.
Today, Dow Jones is a leading distributor of business knowledge and news to harried businesspeople worldwide. The Wall Street Journal remains the company's flagship operation. Including its European and Asian versions, the venerable publication is read by more than 1.9 million people all over the world. While Dow Jones still trails Reuters in terms of worldwide distribution, the company is the leader of the U.S. business information market. The company also offers other business publications such as SmartMoney, a successful financial advice magazine published in partnership with Hearst Corporation, and Barron's, a business weekly, and financial information news wires.
At the vanguard
Dow Jones has been a pioneer in developing interactive, on-line services, including Dow Jones Interactive and The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition at www.wsj.com. The company also provides services that have become inexorably linked to the character of the stock market itself. The Dow Jones Averages, organized by industry, report the stock performances of various leading companies. Today, these averages-which track industrial, transportation, utility, and composite stocks-serve as a leading indicator of stock market performance and economic strength. A related service, the Dow Jones Global Indexes, tracks 2900 stocks in 34 countries and 121 industry groups.
Although The Wall Street Journal has always performed exceedingly well, its parent company, Dow Jones, has had its difficulties. Dow Jones sold its troubled Dow Jones Markets unit, and in 1999, it agreed to sell its Dow Jones Financial Publishing Corp. to Wicks Business Information, LLC. In addition, the heirs of the Dow Jones' fortune became increasingly upset - and vocal - about the unfocused management of the company. Rumors of a sale of the company, possibly to the Washington Post, spread. In early 1998, the company reported an astounding $802 million loss for the year.
Paralleling trends in the stock market, rises have followed Dow Jones' falls. Results from the first quarter of 2000 exhibited gains in revenue and in earnings. Recent partnerships have bolstered Dow Jones' Internet presence. In November 1999, it teamed with Reuters to create Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive, LLC. The next year, the company partnered with Excite@Home to launch Work.com. Also in 2000, Dow Jones produced four new stock market indexes in Europe in an attempt to establish primacy among that continent's market indexes.
Applicants should consult the Dow Jones recruitment Web site - www.dowjones.com/careers - for a list of current openings organized by location and job title. The electronic list, however, is far from comprehensive; it describes more technical positions than editorial opportunities. Dow Jones also advertises positions in national newspapers and other trade publications. Those interested in The Wall Street Journal should note that reporting jobs go only to the highly qualified; so expect the competition to be fierce. "If you're looking for a reporting job, you'd better have five to 10 years of experience from a major publication," an insider says. "Entry-level people start on the ticker operation in New Jersey for very low pay."
However, The Wall Street Journal does operate a well-regarded internship list for college and graduate students, a possible avenue for entry. Dow Jones also offers opportunities in its recently launched interactive ventures; the company's home web page provides links to each new venture. The news and editorial side of the company is located in Lower Manhattan; the business side is in Princeton, New Jersey.
Dow Jones offers internships for MBA students during the summer. Says one participant: "It was a very friendly environment with intelligent people with excellent exposure to upper management." Interns perform a variety of tasks, everything from "evaluating new business ideas" to "assisting on valuations of potential acquisitions." Although the program is described as "unstructured," interns say the company has a "very positive" attitude toward MBAs and encourages "creativity."
Dow Jones offers its employees an "impeccable" salary package, "above-average" benefits, and the prestige of working for one of the "truly essential" information-services companies in corporate America. "Dow Jones," says one employee, "is not a big name; it's the big name." The competition with its rival Reuters, sources say, "keeps things interesting." The culture is described as "friendly" and "casual," although the atmosphere can vary by location. Employees "officially" work 9 to 5, "but many people put in extra time." For most departments the dress is business casual and "very casual" on Fridays.
Still, "the corporate culture is somewhat conservative, as you would expect from a Fortune 500 company." The editorial staff and reporters at The Wall Street Journal are quick to point out that the newspaper and the corporate headquarters "are really like two separate worlds"; the two interact only at the top levels of news and business management. Pay is "not the highest in the industry, however the relaxed atmosphere makes up for it." One insider notes that after three years, "you receive three weeks vacation and a profit sharing retirement plan that is 100 percent company contributed equal to 15 percent of your salary."
And, as one shrewd employee notes, "access to many of our print and electronic publications is very valuable for an investor." Other perks employees enjoy are partial health club reimbursement and education reimbursement. Employees in some of Dow Jones' main satellite offices report excellent facilities. Says one in South Brunswick, New Jersey: "we have a softball field, and we will soon have an exercise room and a daycare center." Says another in Jersey City: "we have subsidized breakfast and lunch. Great lunches - main course with drinks and yogurt for around $5. Save you a bundle in the long run." That employee, who works in the unit that develops financial software, says that the Jersey City office is "on the river and it has a better view than anyone in Manahattan."
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