Marcus Brauchli assumed the managing editor post from Paul Steiger just last May, after word had already emerged that Mr. Murdoch had Dow Jones in his sights, so Mr. Brauchli has only ever held the job with the heavy eye of News Corp. over his shoulder.
Mr. Murdoch, it has been widely noted, is a hands-on owner. Mr. Brauchli was viewed in the newsroom, however, as someone well suited to protect the paper's credibility under its new owners.
Once the deal was done, News Corp. executives visited The Journal's newsroom to make remarks to staff -- but really set the room buzzing when they wrapped up before Mr. Brauchli had an opportunity to speak.
Editorial changes have been coming fairly steadily since then, including an increased emphasis on general, political and breaking news under the eye of a new publisher, Robert Thomson. Despite his title, Mr. Thomson's portfolio is editorial: The managing editor of The Journal, the editorial page editor, the managing editor of Dow Jones Newswires and the editors of Barron's and MarketWatch all report to him.
The news that Mr. Brauchli was expected to leave his post first appeared on Time.com last night. Mr. Brauchli did not respond to a message left seeking comment by deadline this morning. The Journal declined to comment.
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Marcus Brauchli's Note to the WSJ Staff:
To the Staff:
A year ago, I was appointed managing editor, and we set off together on a great journey. We faced uncertainty about our ownership, inclement conditions in our industry and consensus that change was necessary. And so we chose a path of transformation.
We rethought the central tenets of our approach, with the aim of making a great news organization even better.
During this time of transition, we have not strayed from our mission, producing engaging journalism that illuminates and informs our world.
Our reporters, whether in Lhasa or Los Angeles, Washington or Wall Street, are courageous, resourceful and infinitely talented. Our editing, graphics and production staff, too, are brilliant, creative and deeply dedicated.
I am proud to have been part of this exceptionally talented team.
But now that the ownership transition has taken place, I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing.
So, today, I am resigning.
I revere this institution and respect all of my colleagues, both old and new. When News Corp bought Dow Jones, together we crafted an editorial agreement designed to protect our independence. The agreement was designed to block commercial or political interference in our journalism and to ensure we adhered to our code of conduct.
Since the acquisition last December, the new management scrupulously has avoided imposing any political or business viewpoints on our coverage and rigorously has enforced the code of conduct. I am confident that our journalistic integrity remains intact and that News Corp. is committed to a Journal that is vibrant, vital and preeminent in American journalism.
Under the terms of the editorial agreement, our independence is enforced by a Special Committee. I have met with and conveyed my thoughts to the Special Committee. Many thanks for your extraordinary dedication and support in this last year. I have no doubt the journey we embarked on together will continue to bring Journal readers the best in journalism and you and the Journal continued success.