OLD Media Moves

WSJ’s Murray leaving for Pew Research Center

November 2, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson sent out the following announcement on Friday afternoon:

The inimitable Alan Murray, who has led us into the digital age and been a friend and muse to many, including me, will be leaving the Journal to take on a new role as President of the Pew Research Center. We will thankfully still have a chunk of Alan for a transitional period as a Senior Contributing Editor for our executive conferences, which he has personally fashioned into a flourishing editorial operation.

As we rightly laud Alan for his many and varied achievements and leadership, we are fortunate to have the extremely able Raju Narisetti ready to assume the mantle of digital czar. Raju has played a significant role in our global expansion over the past 12 months, when, among other advances, we bought out our partner in the Japanese site, established a Korean website, and launched a Bahasa site in Indonesia.

Alan joined the Journal in 1983 and has served around the world and across platforms. He was appointed Washington Bureau Chief in 1993 and quickly became one of the capital’s most influential journalists. He took over the digital operation in 2007 and has since transformed its fortunes and its outlook. His emotional intelligence and sheer persistence have put digital at the very heart of our newsroom and made the word “integration” far more than a management consultant’s catchphrase.

His creativity and integrity ensured that our journey into the digital age has been both principled and profitable. The WSJ story is now a model for media around the world in an era in which traditional newspapers have struggled to cope with unending upheaval. Alan was one of the begetters of the much-complimented WSJ iPad app, which has become a template for the industry, and which drew personal praise from the perfectionist Steve Jobs.

Alan has driven our extremely successful expansion into video and, as the ultimate renaissance reporter, was often in front of the camera himself, providing cogent analysis and compelling commentary. Digital is a land of many metrics, and the metrics during Alan’s reign have been extraordinary. Our audience has expanded fourfold during the past five years and almost 65 million people visit our sites each month. Each of those individuals owes Alan a small word of thanks, but no words can capture the gratitude I have for his enduring contribution to the Journal and to journalism.

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