WSJ names new editors as part of newsroom change toward digital focus
Wall Street Journal deputy editor Matt Murray sent out the following announcement on Tuesday:
I’m delighted to announce a number of newsroom leadership appointments that will fill out our senior team and accelerate our WSJ2020 goal of building a mobile-first newsroom on the leading digital edge. With so many applicants, it’s admittedly been a lengthy process, but it has been deeply rewarding to interact with so many talented colleagues and applicants and discuss the opportunities ahead of us. Thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm, ideas and patience.
Elena Cherney is named Coverage Planning Chief, a new and vital role that will place her at the center of our journalism. Working alongside Jason Anders and Matthew Rose (more on whom below), Elena will be responsible for helping us plan for all news that is not for today, from preparing for scheduled events to helping identify big themes and ensuring that we are organized to thread them through our coverage. Far more of our journalism can be planned and anticipated — and ensuring that happens is crucial for success in the digital age. Elena will be the editor spearheading this charge, and in this role will be working closely with virtually everyone in the newsroom, from Gerry and me, to Jason and Matthew and the coverage and bureau chiefs. She will be shuttling between New York and Canada for the time being.
Elena is terrifically qualified for the job. She joined The Journal in 2000 as a reporter in the Toronto bureau, and covered an array of companies and general news that took her from Manitoba’s ice roads to a remote aboriginal village in Labrador. In 2007, she joined Canada’s Globe and Mail as an editor in the paper’s Life section, and moved to the paper’s Report on Business later that year. She became editor of the Report on Business in 2009, and led teams that won a streak of National Newspaper Awards for stories including BHP’s takeover fight for Potash Corp. and Bill Ackman’s battle at CP Rail. In 2012, she was named Managing Editor of the Globe.
Happily, she rejoined The Journal as Canada bureau chief in 2014. Most recently, she has been our Global Energy Coverage Chief, overseeing all industry coverage and indulging her passion for corporate and financial wonkery. Elena was born in British Columbia and grew up in Montreal, and is a graduate of Yale University.
Carla Zanoni will take on a new role as our global Audience & Analytics Editor, overseeing our much-expanded audience team and data operation. Focused analytics with much deeper audience engagement is critical to our success, and Carla will be leading this charge. All of you know Carla through the world-wide, intensive audience training effort she led for every journalist at The Journal this year; applying the tools to our daily work, telling us what and which numbers are important and helping guide strategic decisions will be the next tasks for her and her team. They will be working with virtually every one of us, as well as our partners on the commercial side.
Since joining The Journal in 2014, Carla helped create and lead the audience engagement, development and analytics teams, as well as the emerging media team, launching The Journal on new storytelling platforms including Snapchat Discover, the Facebook Messenger bot and Amazon Echo. She played a key role in developing our paywall strategy, focusing on social media as a valuable traffic and engagement driver.
Before joining The Journal, Carla led national digital and social strategy at the local digital news startup DNAinfo.com in New York and Chicago. She started her journalism career as a freelance metro and community reporter in 2001 in New York City. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of General Studies and School of Journalism. She lives with her husband and their dog, Gertrude, and cat, Earnestine, in Inwood, or as they like to call it, Upstate Manhattan.
Alex Martin will become Writing Editor, another new role important for our future success. We produce a great deal of brilliant journalism, but in a crowded world in which we must constantly fight for attention, we can and must do more to ensure our writing is crisp, sharp, factual, concise and engaging. This is a vital area of focus that will help us further stand out. Alex will lead this effort, with a mandate to work with editors and writers around the world to improve our journalism, and set clear expectations and standards on writing for all of us.
All of us know Alex as a rigorous and excellent editor. He has been a deputy managing editor at The Journal since 2011. At various times, he has overseen the newspaper’s front page and its global enterprise reporting, its national and corporate coverage, and, currently, its digital news-editing desk. He has also served as deputy Page One editor and deputy Marketplace editor, commissioning and editing corporate news features. As enterprise editor, he helped supervise a package of stories on Medicare fraud that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Alex worked at Newsday from 1989 to 2005, where he held a number of positions, including assistant managing editor for investigations, for features and for coverage of Long Island. In 1996, he helped lead Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800. He also supervised two Pulitzer finalists at Newsday. A graduate of Holy Cross School in New Orleans and LSU, he started his career as editor of the St. Francisville Democrat in St. Francisville, La., followed by eight years as a government, courts and general assignment reporter at the Times-Picayune. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Northport, N.Y., and have three grown children.
Earlier this month, Alex was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the LSU Manship School of Communication. This video says more than words alone can.
Chris Moran is appointed Chief Video and Audio Editor, shedding the “interim” his title has carried for the past six months. Chris has had a profound impact on the department, revamping our strategy to focus on high-quality, distinctive Wall Street Journal stories that are better seen or heard–and designed for mobile viewership.
Since his arrival, the teams have launched several successful new video and audio series, including the widely listened to Future of Everything podcast, created a new documentary unit and brought video closer to our core WSJ coverage. The strategy is already paying off in attracting new viewers and engaging them for longer periods of time. In the months to come, he will work to embed video and audio across the newsroom, and he has several more launches and developments in the works. With his leadership, video and audio are becoming more central to our journalism every day.
Chris is an adopted New Yorker hailing from Manchester, England, and lives in TriBeCa with his partner, Carley. When he isn’t working, you can find him critiquing every single show on Netflix.
I’m also pleased that Matthew Rose will continue in his role as Enterprise Editor. Matthew has pushed our most ambitious journalism forward with new types of compelling storytelling and with a digital-first focus that has expanded our reach. He is leading the way in bringing our best work into a new era, the primary task for the entire leadership.
All five report to me. With Jason Anders as Chief News Editor and Mike Siconolfi as Investigations Editor, we have a strong, deep team that will accelerate our momentum. I’m incredibly excited about the whole crew, and ask you to join me in congratulating them.