OLD Media Moves

More on Dow Jones shakeup

January 9, 2006

You know it’s a big deal in business journalism when Newsweek decides to cover the boardroom shakeup at Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

In the Jan. 16 issue, which is available online, writer Jonathan Darman has a couple of interesting points to make about the departure of CEO Peter Kann and his wife Karen Elliott House, the Journal’s publisher, as well as the new CEO, Richard Zannino.

They include:

1. “Longtime Journal observers saw this history in the boardroom shift. ‘The way this was all handled seems to be a not-so-polite way of asking Peter and Karen to quickly head for the door,’ says a former Dow Jones executive who asked not to be identified so as not to offend Kann and House.”

2. “When reminded that a senior Dow Jones executive was once quoted in a New Yorker article saying that Zannino ‘doesn’t understand, in his genetic material, what journalism is about,’ he is dismissive: “Their evidence for that was that I took the blame for not reopening the cafeteria in this building when we moved back after September 11.” His first reaction when the Journal gets scooped by The New York Times? ‘I’m p—-ed.'”

3. Zannino wants to ‘rethink the content, the layout, the design, the presentation of our news.’ That doesn’t mean rushing into online businesses. His goal is a company whose subscribers ‘read the newspaper on the way into work’ and ‘stay updated all day through the Online Journal.’

Read the entire article here.

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