Wall Street Journal Shakes Up Newsroom

As Murdoch Moves One Step Closer to Sealing His Deal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Wall Street Journal thoroughly shuffled it top editorial ranks today in what may be the last such move before Rupert Murdoch manages to get control of Dow Jones and its flagship paper.

Marcus W. Brauchli
Marcus W. Brauchli

Grueskin to managing editor-news
Marcus W. Brauchli, who succeeded Paul E. Steiger as managing editor May 15, moved Bill Grueskin, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online, to deputy managing editor for news, overseeing U.S. bureaus and efforts to further meld The Journal's online and print coverage.

Daniel Hertzberg, senior deputy managing editor and therefore the paper's editorial No. 2, was named deputy managing editor for international news, overseeing foreign bureaus and international editions. The reassignment, which requires Mr. Hertzberg to relocate to Europe, looks like an end to any hopes that he will one day become the paper's managing editor.

Mike Williams, the paper's editor in Europe, will return to New York to become page-one editor; Mike Miller, the page-one editor for seven years, was named The Journal franchise's deputy managing editor for enterprise journalism. Alan Murray, assistant managing editor, was named executive editor for online. And Laurie Hayes, national news editor, was named deputy managing editor for projects.

'Constant change'
"We have been as agile as anyone at adapting to change in recent years," said Mr. Brauchli in a statement confirming early reports by BusinessWeek yesterday and The New York Times today. "We continue to produce the world's best journalism, tailored to an audience that seeks to understand the context and meaning of events, not only in business but generally. Yet simply to maintain our standing, we must adapt to constant change."

Change, of course, is looming larger for The Journal and Dow Jones every day as the controlling Bancroft family prepares to offer Mr. Murdoch new proposals intended to ensure the paper's editorial independence from him even if he succeeds in buying the company. Mr. Murdoch has said it is unreasonable for the Bancrofts to assume he would buy the company and then agree to not have a hand in running it. But the Bancrofts want to ensure some measure of editorial independence should they sell, and are suggesting an editorial board be appointed to oversee management of the newsroom.

If Mr. Murdoch accepts the family's latest proposal today, it is expected that the two sides will begin to discuss what price Mr. Murdoch's News Corp. would pay to acquire Dow Jones.

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