WSJ’s Thomson considered to run spinoff
Rob Cox of Reuters Breakingviews writes that Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson is rumored to be in line to run the newspaper operations being spun off by News Corp., the paper’s parent.
Cox writes, “Thomson’s experience reshaping the financial broadsheet Murdoch overpaid to acquire four years ago, plus six years as editor of The Times, give him unmatched understanding of the assets and a gravitas with staff that no other News Corp executive exhibits. While Tom Mockridge has led News International since Rebekah Brooks left last year, he hasn’t worked at the Journal, which presents the most promising global opportunity for the separated company.
“That’s especially important in the face of potentially renewed competition from the New York Times, where Mark Thompson, the former BBC director general with extensive battle scarring from tangling with Murdoch, has arrived as the new president and CEO.
“As chief of a newly public company, of course, Thomson would need to relinquish editorial duties, kicking off a game of journalistic musical chairs. The guessing over who will lead the Journal is already in full swing internally, with editors Gerry Baker and Alan Murray seen as potential candidates. Wrenching changes at the Times might also lead to changes there.
“For now, this may just be pub gossip for journalists. But for the spinoff of the newspaper arm to proceed as planned, it will need a chief relatively soon. Now certified ‘fit and proper’ to run BSkyB, Murdoch needs to get cracking on getting News Corp out of the newspaper racket.”
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