In an internal memo this morning, Journal Publisher L. Gordon Crovitz described Ms. Barry's resignation -- which happened fast enough that the paper's spokesman was unaware of it when contacted yesterday by Ad Age -- as something fairly expected.
"When Judy agreed to move into this role in 2005 from her position as head of advertising marketing, she indicated tha she did not want this to be a long-term assignment," Mr. Crovitz wrote. "While we managed to persuade Judy to remain in this role longer than she intended, Judy decided the time had come to step down."
The memo did not address Ms. Barry's reasons for leaving; Ms. Barry declined to comment last night.
She has been the top ad-sales executive, first under former Publisher Karen House and then under Mr. Crovitz, for the last two years and was a top Journal executive before that. Her time in her most recent post saw a reorganization of the paper's ad-sales teams across the country, the launch of a Saturday edition, the introduction of ad space on the Journal's front page and the transition to the new, smaller-format Journal on Jan. 2.
Ms. Barry was also one of Advertising Age's 2006 "Women to Watch".
The results of her work, Mr. Crovtiz said in his memo, were suberb. "In 2006, the print Journal was the top gainer in advertising revenues among all U.S. newspapers and magazines -- and 2007 is off to a very strong start."
Ms. Barry is planning a trip to Africa after her last day at the Journal, Mr. Crovitz said.
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Journal Publisher L. Gordon Crovitz's memo to the Consumer Media Group this morning:
Judy Barry has decided to step down as head of print Wall Street Journal advertising sales and marketing after a wonderfully productive and successful three years as a senior executive with the Journal. We've begun the search for a successor.
When Judy agreed to move into this role in 2005 from her position as head of advertising marketing, she indicated that she did not want this to be a long-term assignment. While we managed to persuade Judy to remain in this role longer than she intended, Judy decided the time had come for her to step down.
Improvements to our sales and marketing efforts under Judy's leadership have been enormous, and the team she helped build is well positioned for even greater success. Marketing is reinvigorated, including being a real presence in consumer categories. A reorganized sales team includes terrific and talented leadership with great category expertise. Between new talent and developed longer-time Journal colleagues, we have an industry-leading sales and marketing team. This team has been empowered with new tools, training and confidence, and has made the most of these in providing our clients with access to the world's most affluent, engaged and influential audience. Advertisers and agencies now view the Journal as one of the best media operations with which to do business. The Advertising team helped make Weekend Edition a success and ensured that advertisers benefited as much as did readers from the redesign of the Journal last month.
As those of you know who have been with Judy from Shanghai to Sundance, Southampton to South Beach, Judy tirelessly led these efforts while being on the road for the Journal virtually non-stop over the past couple of years. Throughout, Judy inspired us all with her commitment to the highest standards for the Journal. She helped open the way to new ways of working with advertisers, while also ensuring that we always meet the appropriately high expectations of our readers. Even in her relatively short time with us, Judy helped impart these critical values to the sales and marketing team and beyond.
The results of these efforts, creativity and standards by Judy and the team have been superb: In 2006, the print Journal was the top gainer in advertising revenues among all U.S. newspapers and magazines -- and 2007 is off to a very strong start.
Judy will step down in early March, when she will take a well-deserved trip to Africa. I know you all join me in thanking Judy for all she has done to strengthen the Journal, including by building such a great sales and marketing team, and in wishing Judy the very best.
We'll fill this position as soon as possible and will communicate progress as it develops.