As a general-interest publication, however, the Journal is much less distinct. Murdoch may win the war of attrition with The New York Times, but in victory, the Wall Street Journal may no longer be really special.

I’ll confidently predict that the Journal won’t win any war of attrition with The New York Times. It doesn’t come anywhere near reproducing the breadth of coverage that the Times does—except in business—and the Times’s business coverage of the crisis last year was often more like the Journal’s than the Journal’s itself.

The NYT isn’t going anywhere, no matter what Murdoch or the ad market does. There are too many rich folks who would love nothing more than to add a few paragraphs to their obits by snagging that trophy.

Murdoch’s already got his. By moving on to the Times’s field of battle, he’s leaving his own flank partially exposed.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.