Wall Street Journal to close print editions in Europe, Asia

The Wall Street Journal, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, is set to shutter print editions in Europe and Asia due to shrinking advertising, Bloomberg  reported.

The final print edition in Europe was on Friday, while the Asian edition will close down a week later, the newspaper reported yesterday in an article, citing company officials. The article added that affected staffers have been reassigned.

The past year has seen the Journal implement ''WSJ 2020'' -a three-year plan to adapt to consumers who are increasingly accessing news on mobile phones. Also a part of the plan involved staff cuts and folding and merging some sections of the print newspaper.

A union representative who spoke to Bloomberg News earlier this year said that the Journal was laying off employees at bureaus in Asia and Europe. The company said at the time, ''we remain committed to covering the region.''

According to commentators, Journal is trying to attract more subscribers online to make up for the steady decline in print advertising. The most recent quarter saw the parent's ad revenue fall 12 per cent.

The Journal, which has around 1.3 million digital-only subscribers at the end of the quarter, has also been raising the price of subscriptions.

The Asian edition was launched in 1976, while the European edition launched in 1983, according to the newspaper.

The Guardian, which reported the news attributed it to falling revenues and a 'wider editorial restructuring' initiative by the newspaper.

However, according to the paper, the rise in online subscriptions will also help it reach out to the Asian and European audience by asking them to subscribe digitally as ''continuing the foreign editions (is) no longer cost-effective''.

According to commentators, the move comes at a time when the Journal was drawing fire for softening up on US president Donald Trump.