Wall Street Journal Trims Edit Staff

Those Affected Encouraged to Reapply For Smaller Pool of Jobs

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As layoffs at newspapers continue, The Wall Street Journal announced today that it will cut 50 editing positions from its 750-person news staff, mainly from the New Jersey office. In an e-mail sent to the staff, the Journal's managing editor, Robert Thomson, said the New York office now will be responsible for editing copy and producing pages in print, online and mobile platforms.
Robert Thomson
Robert Thomson

The Journal also announced sweeping changes to its daily news operations. Mr. Thomson named deputy managing editors in four broad areas.

Matt Murray and Nik Deogun will jointly manage a restructured news desk reporting on political, corporate, economic, market and general news. Mr. Murray will oversee the national news stories, and Mr. Deogun will head the international section.

Mike Williams will oversee the Page One desk and will be responsible for major investigative articles. Senior Deputy Managing Editor Mike Miller will direct the Personal Journal, Weekend Journal and WSJ magazine. All will report directly to Mr. Thomson.

Most cuts from New Jersey
Most of the announced cuts come from the Journal's South Brunswick, N.J., office, which opened in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Journal's offices in the World Financial Center were ruined that day, but the paper managed to publish a Sept. 12 edition from its New Jersey location. The Journal had long planned to move that location back to New York, said Emily Edmonds, a spokesperson for Dow Jones.

According to the memo, the Journal will move to new offices at 1211 Avenue of the Americas by March of next year.

Mr. Thomson said the new editing positions will be posted on Friday and encouraged staffers affected by the cuts to apply for the New York openings. "Staffers with the highest skill levels and the enthusiasm to acquire new skills will have a distinct advantage during the selection process," he said.

New editing structure
Details of the new editing structure are still forthcoming, but the announcement indicates that reporters and bureau chiefs will now take on the additional task of editing their own copy, making sure it conforms to length and style requirements. "Stadium editing will be a practice of the past," Thomson said, "and design, for both print and web, will be integral to the evolution of each story and every page."

The staff cuts are seen as a continuation of changes to the editorial structure that took place on June 19, when Thomson announced the creation of a New York news hub that would streamline editorial and production decisions.

Thomson, who also serves as editor in chief of Dow Jones, plans to expand the web and international operations and expects to hire 95 journalists for both Dow Jones Newswires and the Journal over the coming months.
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