OLD Media Moves

WSJ names Cherney its editor of news features and special projects

January 6, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Elene Cherney

Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray sent out the following announcement on Monday:

Dear All:

I’m pleased to share the news that Elena Cherney is taking on several new assignments in her portfolio and a new title as Editor, News Features and Special Projects.

For just over two years, Elena has been charged with the difficult but invaluable task of creating and driving coverage planning across the newsroom. The job grew out of our WSJ2020 process. Coordinated planning of news and coverage wasn’t just a new job—it was a critical need that fell short in many parts of the newsroom. In our large, diverse operation, an intelligent, organized and data-driven planning process is essential for us to create successful products around the clock—and a sometimes-daunting challenge to carry out.

Through new processes for planning and coordination, close work with editors and reporters across the organization, tools like NewsGrid and a certain amount of grit, Elena and her team have moved us far down the road in making planning central to the The Wall Street Journal. We now have clear and accurate daily and weekly news plans and closer coordination across coverage areas and with our publishing desk. Elena has also been central to helping coordinate and drive many of our most ambitious, multi-bureau stories; a mentor to many editors and reporters; and a key member of the senior team that sets and pursues news priorities.

Thanks to that progress in embedding planning in coverage areas, and as part of our desk changes, we will be moving in the new year from planning toward programming—a more directed schedule of publishing. We are creating two new jobs, one on the news hub and one on the strategy team, to build on our planning progress by integrating more data and developing a rigorous publishing schedule. More details on these roles will be forthcoming.

While handing off the planning baton, Elena is taking up others. Lisa Bannon and the Life & Arts team now report up to her, joining in her portfolio the investigations team, live journalism and Journal Reports, the New York-based elections editor who is coordinating our 2020 efforts across bureaus and functions, workflow, prizes and commercial relationships. Importantly, and happily for me, Elena, with her keen story sense and talent at drilling through internal newsroom barriers, also will remain closely involved in helping identify, cultivate, coordinate and drive our biggest journalism projects and other initiatives as we continue to grow. In a growing and busy newsroom, the more she can focus on the highest-value work and projects, the things that make a standout difference, the better for all of us.

Elena joined the Journal in 2000 as a reporter in the Toronto bureau, covering companies and general news. In 2007, she joined the Globe and Mail as an editor in the paper’s Life section, and moved to the paper’s Report on Business later that year. In 2009, she became editor of the Report on Business, and in 2012, was named managing editor of the Globe. She rejoined the Journal as Canada bureau chief in 2014 and then became our global energy coverage chief. Elena was born in British Columbia, grew up in Montreal and is a graduate of Yale University.

Please join me in hailing Elena.


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