WSJ launches Life & Work coverage, closing Greater New York
Wall Street Journal editor in chief Matt Murray sent out the following on Thursday:
Over the last several years we’ve taken a number of steps across the newsroom to grow our audience in a rapidly changing world while focusing on deepening our coverage and digital presence, from upgrading our data and bringing better digital practices into each coverage area to growing video and audio. Today we are announcing several significant moves aimed at further growing our reach and better serving our audiences.
First, we’re launching a new coverage area called Life & Work, which will be led by Nikki Waller. Life & Work will be an important way of widening our lens of business, markets and economics and serving decision-makers. It will arm all of our audiences with more information and insight for the big decisions they face in their lives, from how they spend, save, and invest to how they plot their careers, pay for school and travel, from how they buy and consume things to how they spend their leisure time. Building on our rich legacy of smart and ambitious feature writing and useful, expert advice, Life & Work will aim for deeper digital engagement and cover a wider range of topics than ever before.
The team will bring together the Personal Finance team under Bourree Lam, the Personal Technology team under Wilson Rothman, the Careers & Work team under Lynn Cook and the existing Personal Journal team—all areas producing some of our most popular and innovative digital journalism. Importantly, we also will be adding new roles and positions to grow coverage in those and other areas. In all, Life & Work will soon number more than 60 journalists. The Personal Journal name will continue in the print section.
Nikki is brilliantly suited to lead this new team to greater heights. In her previous roles she has shown time and again that she is a creative, thoughtful and entrepreneurial editor and dynamic leader. Previously she was the deputy corporate coverage chief, and before that led our Live Journalism Team, served as Management & Careers bureau chief, and oversaw personal finance and travel coverage on WSJ.com.
Nikki will report to Elena Cherney. Please join me in congratulating her for this important new role.
I’m delighted that Lisa Bannon, who as PJ editor has overseen a great deal of distinguished and impactful coverage and has been a dedicated editor and champion of her team, is taking on a new reporting position on the Enterprise Desk, where she will focus on in-depth stories for Matthew Rose. Lisa deserves all of our gratitude and admiration.
Second, we are creating a Speed & Trending desk that will be responsible for writing and publishing the first take on many breaking stories, raising both our metabolism and our volume on breaking news.
Aiming to add more immediacy to the trust and authority of our news, the team will especially focus on SEO and trending stories that align with our mission and identity to better compete in the digital news space and help us more quickly bring authority and depth to our audiences on developing stories. For all the genuine progress we have made in recent years, we must increase our timeliness, volume and relevancy, without sacrificing quality. The desk will work closely with all coverage areas, with an aim of being additive and complementary, while growing the audience. It will be part of the News Hub and report to Jason Anders.
We’re looking for a dynamic leader with excellent news judgment and high energy to lead this team. This position, as well as reporting and editing roles to staff the desk, are being posted later today at WSJ.jobs. We aim to staff up quickly and launch within a few weeks.
Inevitably, as we evolve the newsroom and aim to focus our journalistic mission, we are faced with some hard decisions. This morning, we informed the Greater New York staff that we’re shutting down the team and ceasing publication in print and digital on July 9. Team members will have the chance to apply for other jobs.
The GNY team has done phenomenal work. GNY was launched in April 2010, with a hard-working and talented staff that made the Journal a bigger voice in the city and state and infused the entire news operation with greater urgency and relevance. Among other memorable moments, in 2012 the team won a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Deadline Reporting for its work on Superstorm Sandy. I’m grateful to all of those who have worked for GNY and made it such a journalistic force.
At a challenging moment and time of great change, I deeply appreciate your superb work and dedication to our mission. Across every coverage area and team, recent weeks especially have seen a superb run of scoops, strong and relevant news reporting and impactful, memorable enterprise work. It is reflected in strong traffic, lively article pages and compelling newspapers that really matter to people. You all continue to accomplish a great deal—and together we have much to do and to look forward to in the weeks ahead.