OLD Media Moves

The short Dow Jones career of Richard Zannino

December 6, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Sarah Ellison of The Wall Street Journal writes Thursday about the short tenure of Dow Jones & Co. CEO Richard Zannino, the first non-journalist to run the owner of The Journal in more than half a century.

Richard ZanninoZannino announced his resignation Thursday, one week before Dow Jones shareholders are expected to approve the sale of the company to News Corp.

Ellison wrote, “In his brief tenure at the helm, Mr. Zannino had received generally good marks from Wall Street for shaking up Dow Jones’s business operations. But Dow Jones’s stock price was stuck in a narrow range before Mr. Murdoch expressed his interest in buying the company over a breakfast on March 29.

“Mr. Zannino, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., with his wife and four children, joined Dow Jones in February 2001, when he was 42 years old, as the company’s chief financial officer and an executive vice president. At the time, Dow Jones had been riding the wave of a boom in technology and financial advertising, which buoyed its financial results. Mr. Zannino has had to navigate the subsequent fall-off in print advertising that has hit the Journal, though to a lesser degree than some other newspapers.

“Originally from Everett, Mass., he still has the trace of a Boston accent. Mr. Zannino — whose father worked for Bethlehem Steel and whose mother was a homemaker — got an M.B.A. from Pace University in New York and a bachelor’s degree from Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. Prior to joining Dow Jones, he had worked in finance and strategy jobs at Liz Claiborne Inc. and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as General Signal Corp.”

Read more here.

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