OLD Media Moves

Changes at WSJ Washington bureau

September 19, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Jerry Seib has been named an assistant managing editor and executive Washington editor, according to a memo Wednesday from managing editor Marcus Brauchli. He will be succeeded as Washington bureau chief by John Bussey.

In the memo, Brauchli said, “As you know, these are two of our most accomplished journalists, who between them have worked at the Journal for more than half a century. As much as anyone here, they have defined our standards of reporting, writing and reasoning. And they are paragons of our multimedia world: both of them have written columns in print and online; they have blogged; and they do television.

“They will put all of these skills to work in their new assignments, which will begin Nov. 1.

Jerry Seib“Jerry will take on a portfolio of duties that will elevate the quality and visibility of our news analysis from Washington. He will resume writing his weekly column, ‘Capital Journal,’ bringing an insightful, predictive and original understanding to politics, national affairs and foreign policy. In addition, working with John and with Alan Murray’s online group, he will develop a robust new political dimension to our digital edition that will include not only his own column and commentaries, but also the real-time version of Washington Wire and other features and columns. He’ll develop our political and issues polling. And he will be the news department’s chief Washington presence on television and at Journal events there and around the country. He will report to me.

“John will oversee the Washington bureau, including our coverage of the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, politics, government policy, and regulation, as well as John Busseyforeign and defense matters. He will work with Jerry and Alan on the online dimensions to our Washington coverage. He also will work closely with our global economics editor, David Wessel, who is based in Washington, and with other bureau chiefs on stories that emanate from or connect to Washington. Jake Schlesinger and Monica Langley, the deputy Washington bureau chiefs, will report to John. John will report to Deputy Managing Editor Bill Grueskin.

“These appointments are a signal of how important we feel Washington is to the Journal. Our reporters are superb: just in the last month, our political team broke and explained the strange case of Norman Hsu, and described Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan before it was announced; our Pentagon team wrote a definitive story forecasting the administration’s shifting Iraq strategy just as President Bush visited Anbar; and our economics group has explained Ben Bernanke’s approach to the credit crisis with his clarity and authority.

“This is a strong foundation on which John, Jerry, David and their teams can build. Our news franchise extends far beyond business and economics to any issue of consequence for our readers. We have unmatched authority and credibility in Washington, just as we do on Wall Street.

“Both Jerry and John bring distinguished track records to their jobs. Jerry joined the Dallas bureau in 1978, and worked in Washington covering the Pentagon and State Department before he was sent to Cairo in 1984. He returned in 1987, where he covered the White House, diplomacy and foreign policy. He became deputy bureau chief in 1997 and bureau chief in March 2002. He has won many awards, including the 2005 William Allen White Foundation’s national citation from his alma mater, the University of Kansas.

“John joined the Chicago bureau in 1983, and worked as a reporter in Cleveland and Detroit before joining Page One as an editor in 1988. He was Tokyo bureau chief and economics editor, before becoming foreign editor in 1992. In 2002, he was named deputy managing editor and later editor of The Wall Street Journal in Asia. During his tenure overseeing foreign coverage, the Journal won three Pulitzers for international reporting, and John wrote a first-person account of Sept. 11, 2001, that was part of our Pulitzer Prize-winning package of the terrorist attacks. He’s a graduate of Dartmouth.”

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