OLD Media Moves

New WSJ ME Baker worries newsroom

December 9, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

David Carr of The New York Times writes for Monday’s paper about the changing of the guard at The Wall Street Journal announced last week, when Gerard Baker was named the new managing editor.

Carr writes, “Many people, including the dozen or so current and former employees I spoke with (who did not want to be identified criticizing their bosses, past or present), worry over Mr. Thomson’s departure because they think Mr. Baker and Mr. Fenwick are not up to their roles.

“With a background as a neoconservative columnist from Britain, Mr. Baker shares Mr. Thomson’s politics, but little of his managerial experience or his history of reinventing newsrooms. Mr. Baker was a columnist at The Times of London and its United States editor and also worked as the Washington bureau chief of The Financial Times. His antipathy for the current administration was memorialized in an appearance on Fox News during which he satirized the president as a false messiah.

“After three years as a deputy managing editor of The Journal, Mr. Baker has no initiatives to call his own and little constituency in the newsroom. On Tuesday, the day after he was appointed, he walked the halls of the newspaper and for the reporters I spoke with, seeing him out and about was a startling sight.

“When he moved to The Journal in 2009, Mr. Baker was, by dint of interest and skill set, a columnist and pundit and, as I have written here in the past, he hasn’t been shy about imposing his political and religious views on news coverage. (This tendency remains strong, according to current employees.)”

Read more here.

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