Wall Street Journal chief news strategist Louise Story sent out the following announcement on Tuesday:
A Note From Louise Story:
I’m excited to welcome an amazing line-up of new product and news strategy leaders for The Wall Street Journal.
They join at a time of urgent journalism and urgent innovation.
We are seeing each day how much the public values our coverage, and how important it is that we provide the world’s best news experiences.
Our audiences are increasingly mobile. They are increasingly diverse and of all ages. They want to see themselves reflected in our journalism. They want information that is most relevant to them to be really easy to find. They want to interact with us and with other WSJ members. They want seamless technology. They want to be inspired by our fresh thinking and innovation.
In partnership with teams throughout the newsroom and company, these new leaders will help us get there, faster. And we’ll try to make it as easy as we can.
First to introduce our new Strategy Editors. These editors, who have all just on-boarded, are digging in on our content review, and we look forward to sharing results. They will work hand-in-hand with reporters and editors within coverage areas to identify strategic questions and to turn our findings into practice. They have reach and input in all of our centralized teams and will be helpful guides to our new ways of thinking and new undertakings. They all have exceptional journalism backgrounds and a mix of other skills that are essential for our future.
For U.S. News, Investigations and Special Projects:
Anthony DeRosa joins us from “The Daily Show” where his Emmy Award winning team built a digital department for the relaunch with Trevor Noah as host. Before that, Anthony was the Editor In Chief of the news app Circa, which broke new ground on news summarization and led the way in mobile-first news thinking. Prior to Circa, Anthony was a well-known Reuters columnist, a TV host and led social media and live coverage of breaking news events for Reuters.com. He began his career with jobs in computer programming and product development. In Anthony’s first month at the WSJ, he has spent time with our Enterprise team, and within the strategy team, he will help all of the strategy editors play an important role in our enterprise journalism.
For World Coverage:
Kevin Dubouis joins us from Condé Nast, where he worked on the editorial development and audience growth of the GQ brand across 20 international markets. He previously was part of the launch team of AJ+, the award-winning digital-only channel of the Al Jazeera Media Network. During his years at Al Jazeera, he worked on video production, social media strategy and audience development, and was part of the team that launched AJ+ en Espanõl and AJ+ en Français.
For Weekend and Life & Arts Coverage:
Chao Li – comes to WSJ by way of Group Nine Media and Vox Media, where she held multiple positions at several diverse product orgs at the intersection of journalism and technology. She has focused on roll-out strategies and data platforms. At both Group Nine and Vox Media, she spearheaded R&D and emerging platforms projects across all brands. Prior to that, she led a team of designers, editors, developers and data journalists, producing mobile-first longform journalism experiences. She is also a certified scrum master.
For M&I Coverage:
Krista Kjellman Schmidt – joins us from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she oversaw the institution’s content strategy and worked on developing digital content and products focused on the NY Fed’s data, research, and analysis. Before that, Krista worked at ProPublica, where she created data-driven and visual interactive presentations and coordinated partnerships with multiple media outlets for award-winning investigations. Krista also worked at ABC News, where she helped launch the investigations page at ABCNews.com, and she kick-started her career as a local news producer in the Bronx.
For Corp. Coverage:
Steve Russolillo – joins us from the WSJ’s Hong Kong bureau, where he spent nearly three years on the markets and finance team focused on stocks and cryptocurrencies, while also contributing to Hong Kong protest coverage. Steve and the video team there created WSJCoin, the Journal’s very own cryptocurrency that was showcased in a 24-minute original documentary. Steve also donned a football helmet and shoulder pads in a separate video project, in which he took to the field to explain how companies were navigating the U.S.-China trade war. Prior to his time in Hong Kong, Steve was a columnist for Heard on the Street in New York and a frequent contributor to the Heard’s podcast. Before that, he was a reporter on the Journal’s MoneyBeat blog, where he authored WSJ’s first markets newsletter.
These strategy editors join Becky Bowers — our previously announced Strategy Editor in Washington — and will make an excellent team.
Beyond the Strategy Editors, we welcome several other critical leaders.
Our Programming Strategy Editor:
Leslie Yazel – was most recently Editor in Chief of Real Simple magazine, where she grew revenue, increasing millennial audience, the social following, and newsstand sales. This is her second tour at the WSJ, where she was previously Personal Journal Deputy Editor. Before that she edited Pulitzer-winning critics at The Washington Post. She began her career at her hometown paper, The Des Moines Register, reporting on floods, fires, and murder trials.
Leslie will manage the Strategy Editors, SEO and distribution strategy work and also the New Formats team, led by Cory Schouten, which works with many of you on newsletters and other new formats. She and the Strategy Editors will work closely with us on our content review over the next few months as we look for areas of coverage to expand to draw in and retain new audiences. She will also focus on guidelines for our publishing — what should be published when and where.
Our Head of Audience Touchpoints:
Jason Jedlinski – joins us from Gannett, where he was the head of consumer products. His team there designed and built digital products for USA TODAY and 100+ local newsrooms. Notable projects included personalization on the mobile app, including what Poynter called “the push notification features we all deserve,” which earned Editor & Publisher’s “Best Mobile App.” Jason previously held similar roles at Tribune Company. He began his career as an investigative producer at WGN-TV in Chicago.
Jason will manage our platform teams, web and mobile, as well as our subscriber journey, advertising product and engagement product teams. He will help us define our product experience of the future and help manage our ongoing product and technology priorities.
Our Director of Mobile Products:
Mani Miri – joins us from Bloomberg where he was leading the digital products for all the consumer mobile applications and market data pages. During his time at Bloomberg, he helped the company to grow mobile audience and engagement, while launching the new subscription business there. Under his leadership, the Bloomberg News app won the Appy Award for best Consumer Magazine/Newspaper App. Prior to Bloomberg, Mani led the mobile products at The Huffington Post helping the company to build and grow its mobile presence.
As a member of Jason’s team, Mani will lead us in our mobile product development, focusing on our iPad, iOS and Android apps but also advising us more generally on great mobile product experiences across all platforms.
He will partner with the mobile engineering team and Florian Harr, who as previously announced, has just joined as a lead mobile engineer from Kabbage Inc., an online financial technology company.
Our Head of Content Experiences:
Lydia Serota — most recently as the WSJ’s digital platforms editor, Lydia brings a wealth of experience around our newsroom and will play a central role transforming our storytelling products and technologies. In her most recent role, Lydia oversaw the presentation of our journalism across apps and web. Prior to that, she worked on the Finance team as stocks editor, in the London Hub editing breaking news, and on the night shift of WSJ.com. She joined the Journal in 2007 after working as a news editor at Yahoo.
Lydia will manage our R&D team, Innovation team, CMS team and Storytelling team. These teams work closely together with the Audience Touchpoints group as a product development group that can iterate quickly while maintaining strong performance.
Our R&D Chief:
Alyssa Zeisler joined the WSJ last summer as R&D Editor and has been critical in many of the unit’s successes, including Talk 2020 and Markets Bot. She was previously a Managing Editor at Barron’s where she integrated print and digital operations and launched podcasts, videos and an award-winning newsletter. Prior to that, she worked at the Financial Times, where she was a founding member of the Audience Engagement and Communities teams and where she led initiatives to integrate data analytics and audience-first thinking into the FT’s newsroom.
As a member of Lydia’s team, Alyssa leads our experts in AI, ML and emerging technologies to help us make new editorial tools, report on algorithms, change the way we create content and new audience experiences.
Our Digital Experience and Strategy Unit Visiting Senior Editor:
Deborah Sontag has joined the WSJ as a visiting senior editor working with reporters and editors in the digital experience and strategy unit. Debbie is a veteran journalist who worked for The New York Times for 25 years in roles including Jerusalem bureau chief, city editor, magazine staff writer and investigative reporter on national and international stories. She has been a critical leader in our new Notes on the Pandemic project, which is telling the stories of young people and coronavirus in a social-media like scroll of stories.
Our Young Audiences Editor:
Dory Carr-Harris joins after a four-and-a-half year stint at VICE Media, most recently running the newsroom as the executive editor of VICE.com. At VICE, Dory oversaw everything from major editorial projects to enterprise investigations to daily story selection on multiple mediums. Prior to that, she edited the daily news site of marketing intelligence firm PSFK, consulted for the Wikimedia Foundation, and edited nonfiction at Doubleday Canada.
Dory will lead the young audiences team in the launch of our new digital magazine and will help drive our broader approach to making our journalism more impactful across platforms with young audiences.
All of these talented journalism and product leaders have joined in the midst of our company’s transition into remote working. They’d appreciate virtual coffee invites, since they don’t have the opportunity to bump into you in the corridors for the time being.
The Digital Experience and Strategy teams are involved in many parts of what we all do — from SEO advice, to launching coronavirus information in Spanish, to tools like Chartlos and Live Coverage, to newsletters, to new story formats, the way the home page works, our mobile apps and more. The Digital Experience and Strategy unit includes other leaders you likely already know — Kabir Seth, Dion Bailey, Mike Finkel, John Schimmel, Ross Fadely, Ebony Reed, Thomas Williams, Fernando Turch and teams like the Innovation group, Data Science, User Research, Audience Voice team and New Formats.
Please reach out to the Strategy Editor or DXS manager closest to your area if you have questions on who to go to for what. And feel free to reach out to me anytime.
Excited to see all that we can keep building together.