OLD Media Moves

Journalism values at Dow Jones

January 19, 2006

James Gross, who writes the “Moneybox� column for Slate and contributes to the “Economic View� column of the New York Times, argues on his a Moneyblog web site that a change in the board members at Dow Jones might be as important as the recent change in CEOs at the company.

Gross writes: “This can’t be good news. Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, has made some changes to the board. Investment banker/Washington fixer Vernon Jordan and James Ottaway, the former chairman and CEO of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., a unit of Dow Jones, are out. Ottaway was a veteran newspaper executive.

“Their replacements: new Dow Jones CEO Richard F. Zannino and Eduardo Castro-Wright, the president and chef executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, USA.

“So, Ottaway, one of the two board members who has ever worked at a newspaper, leaves. Zannino, the new CEO, has been with Dow Jones for about five years and joined as chief financial officer. And the outsider they bring in to replace Vernon Jordan is from Wal-Mart? He will surely provide valuable advice to the company as it figures out new, creative ways to hold down reporters’ pay and benefits.”

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