OLD Media Moves

WSJ prepares for Murdoch

September 26, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Michael Calderone of The New York Observer writes Wednesday about how changes at The Wall Street Journal reflect how the paper is preparing for life under ownership by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Wall Street JournalCalderone wrote, “Mr. Murdoch has also begun to engage with the editorial side of the daily paper. It was widely noted when, on Sept. 12, he took a stroll through the Journal newsroom and held a three-hour meeting with editors. But that same afternoon, according to staffers, he also paid a visit to the Money & Investing department, where, with editors Nik Deogun and Ken Brown, Mr. Murdoch discussed a piece for the following day that reported on oil prices approaching $80 a barrel. And this past Friday, another staffer observed the 76-year old News Corp. chief touring the WSJ.com offices and television studio with Mr. Brauchli and executive online editor Alan Murray.

“Meanwhile, say staffers, Mr. Murdoch has begun setting up an office for himself, near other senior Dow Jones executives on the 11th floor.

“But it’s in The Journal’s Washington operation where Mr. Murdoch’s presence, perhaps indirectly, appears to be having its most significant effect. Last May, he told The Times that he intended to increase political coverage and ‘might put more emphasis on Washington.’ Mr. Brauchli—still only four months into his tenure—appears to have beaten him to the punch, on Sept. 19 naming John Bussey, known as a talented, aggressive editor, as the new bureau chief. In addition, Boston bureau chief Gary Putka, who’d been rumored to be a candidate for the Washington bureau chief job, and is also known as a tenacious competitor, will soon be overseeing some coverage of homeland security and national affairs remotely, but in coordination with Boston and D.C. bureau reporters, according to a staffer.”

Read more here.

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