Will Combine News Operations of U.S., Europe and Asia Bureaus

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NEW YORK ( -- The Wall Street Journal announced the layoffs of 12 editors as part of its plans to combine news desk operations in New York, Brussels and Hong Kong into what a memo termed a "24-hour Global News desk."

Global news editor
As part of the changes, Marcus Brauchli, currently the Journal's national news editor, will assume a new post as global news editor. Laurie Hays, currently the Journal's technology and telecom bureau chief, will replace Mr. Brauchli as national news editor and report to him. The current managing editors of the Journal's Asian and European editions, Peter Stein and Raju Narisettit, respectively, will add the titles of global news editor/Asia and global news editor/Europe.

A Journal spokeswoman had little to add to the changes announced in the memo, which came from managing editor Paul Steiger. Because of the more explicit linking of the news operations, she said, "we simply need fewer editors.

The changes, including the layoffs, will "become fully effective," the memo said, by Jan. 1.

Eliminating differences
Mr. Steiger's memo said the global news editors for Asia and Europe would decide which stories from their regions would run in the Journal's U.S. edition. He stressed that "we are not homogenizing our newspapers," but also made clear that a process of globalizing the Journal's operations had just begun: "We intend to eliminate many purely idiosyncratic differences between the papers in design and structure."

An insider said Mr. Brauchli's promotion could put him in the running to eventually succeed Mr. Steiger. The spokeswoman declined to comment on that matter.

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