OLD Media Moves

Good news for Murdoch that WSJ staffers are leaving

September 17, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Slate.com media critic Jack Shafer writes that it’s actually good for News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch that business journalists are leaving The Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch is in the process of acquiring.

Rupert MurdochShafer wrote, “Evidence of Murdoch’s dumping plans came in a letter addressed to Dow Jones employees and written by company CEO Richard Zannino. In a Sept. 11 piece titled ‘Dow Jones Chief Paves the Way for Job Losses,’ the Financial Times reports that the Zannino letter informed employees of coming ‘changes’ at the company, stating that ‘where job cuts are unavoidable, we will communicate that as soon as practical.’

“If the resignations trickle in, Murdoch will be happy to lose the best-paid Journal reporters for the obvious financial reasons. And nothing would make him happier than to provoke stuck-in-their-ways reporters—those most likely to resist the remaking of the paper in the Murdochian image—into quitting. The new hires, no matter who they are or how talented they may be, will consider themselves Murdoch loyalists. Loyal compared with the current staff, that is.

“Murdoch excels at both spilling blood and applying transfusions of talent at his new acquisitions. A leader of the journalists’ union in Australia is said to have acknowledge the mogul’s skill by observing, ‘There are two types of journalist. Those who work for Rupert Murdoch … and those who are about to.'”

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