Johnnie Roberts of Newsweek writes in the latest issue about News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and his efforts to make changes at The Wall Street Journal.
Roberts writes, “From the beginning, Murdoch had no intention of radically altering the appearance of the Journal, once known for its ink-dot black-and-white illustrations. The series of editorial and design changes introduced this week, and yet to come, are more evolutionary than revolutionary. Collectively, however, his modifications represent a shift more profound perhaps than any of the previous overhauls in the paper’s 119-year history, including its late-to-the-party introduction of photographs in the 1980s, to its redesign of the iconic front page in 2002.
“Under Murdoch, news stories on politics and national and international affairs may just as often dominate page one as the business pieces that have been its bread and butter. Along with the refocused front page, Murdoch is effectively relaunching the entire A section as a catchall for general news. As of Monday, the second section, Marketplace, becomes home to the Journal’s coverage of corporate America, while the third section, Money and Investing, remains the showcase for news of the financial markets and investing. A culture section is under development for a fall debut in the Journal’s weekend edition, and Murdoch has added a weekly sports page. The op-ed section, famous for its erudite and influential espousal of conservative ideology, will grow to three pages from two.
“Rather than entrust the job of all this to subordinates, Murdoch has been devoting half his time since acquiring Dow Jones to reshaping the paper. He has become a regular and jarring presence in the Journal newsroom: ever since he appeared unannounced on Easterâ€”to, as he puts it, ‘set an example’â€”top editors have been dragging themselves into the Journal’s headquarters across from Ground Zero on Sundays.”
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