The Americans Are Coming

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 116 months ago
The Americans Are Coming
Copy of the Wall Street Journal

Well, not all of them, obviously. But the London launch of a US newspaper heavyweight, and a high-profile fundraiser for a Presidential candidate, has given us threadbare cause to run that rather glib headline. Moving on....

For London's business and financial elite, the pink pages of the Financial Times are the only thing to be seen reading on the morning commute to work. However, the FT's sturdy grip on matters monetary will be challenged when the Wall Street Journal goes on sale later this month.

From April 16th, the US edition of the paper, printed right here in London, will be sold by 250 newsagents in the City, Canary Wharf and the West End, along with Heathrow and London City airports. New proprietor Rupert Murdoch is keen to raise the worldwide profile of his latest acquisition, and landing it squarely on the doorstep of the FT will extend to newsprint the battle the two venerable titles are currently waging online.

While the Wall Street Journal Europe is already available on newsstands throughout Britain, this beefy US edition will really separate the men from the boys: it'll sell for a hefty £2.50 and be identical to the copy that Manhattanites pore over as they rattle on the subway downtown to the Financial District. We imagine that the WSJ will quickly become the latest status symbol for hedge fund managers and their lackeys: carrying a copy of this underarm will show everyone the cut of your jib.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch's daughter, Elisabeth, is to host a fundraiser for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama in Notting Hill. A select group of influential expats will be invited to the soiree, including Gwyneth Paltrow, River Cafe chef Ruthie Rogers and Warner Bros top brass Josh Berger, with each guest ponying up £1,150 for tickets to the VIP reception.

Americans in London like to get stuck into the electoral process: fundraising for candidates is a well established practise, and back in February we reported all the (not-so) Super Tuesday action. But the Notting Hill fundraiser is solely for Obama, suggesting that Murdoch père may be about to endorse the Democratic frontrunner, at the expense of Hillary Clinton.

Does Londonist have a horse in this race? Not really, although our American scribes do occasionally bend our ear to the subject. But we're still charmed by the news that Barack Obama is a West Ham fan, and that alone is enough to win us over.

Image courtesy of Enrico Fuente's Flickrstream

Last Updated 03 April 2008