OLD Media Moves

Former Dow Jones CEO remembers friend Shaw

July 19, 2009


I asked Warren Phillips, the chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co. from 1975 to 1990, for some thoughts about his former colleague, Ray Shaw, who died suddenly Sunday.

Shaw was president and chief operating officer under Phillips, but he retired in 1989 and then built American City Business Journals into a 40-newspaper chain.

Phillips said, “Ray rose to the heights of journalism as a distinguished editor and a successful executive, but the title he relished most in the three decades we worked together was that of ‘newsman.’ That was the way he always described himself.

“He was proud of his profession and he practiced it well, improving and adding luster to the Associated Press, to The Wall Street Journal and to the Dow Jones news services. Ray was a skilled and energetic reporter and editor in Dallas and New York for the Journal, and the founding editor of the joint AP-Dow Jones News Service, a venture whose reporting and subscribers spanned the world.

“He was a newsman and leader who inspired by his example all who worked for him and with him — not only because he was good and set high journalistic standards but also because everyone knew that he always practiced and insisted upon the highest standards of integrity.

“This continued after Ray left the newsroom and became president of Dow Jones: As he built up the company’s domestic and overseas print and electronic operations, I never saw him take any easy short cuts where integrity was involved. His business ethics were as uncompromisingly strong as his journalistic ethics.

“He also was a valued friend over many years, to me and to countless other colleagues. He will be missed,  personally as well as by all in his profession who have been touched and influenced by his many contributions to the role media plays in our society.

“In this week in which we have also lost Walter Cronkite, many of us will always remember Ray as a similar ‘old-school’ newsman, in the finest meaning of that phrase, one who also understood and appreciated and protected that role that newspapers and other news media perform in our country.”

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