Wall St. Journal cuts 50 staff in realignment

July 16, 2008 5:34:43 PM PDT
The Wall Street Journal is eliminating 50 editorial positions as part of a realignment that combines editorial oversight for its print and online editions, Managing Editor Robert Thomson said Wednesday.

The job cuts are primarily at the Journal's South Brunswick, N.J., offices, which the paper opened shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks near its headquarters on Wall Street.

In June, Thomson began revamping the Journal's newsroom leadership structure to facilitate cooperation among print and online reporters and those at Dow Jones Newswires, the company's real-time financial news service.

The announcement Wednesday is part of that restructuring, he said.

"The reasons for these changes are strategic, even if some of the benefits are economic," Thomson said in a note to staff.

Thomson, a former editor at The Times of London, joined the Journal as publisher in December after News Corp. bought the paper's parent company, Dow Jones & Co., which also owns Barron's and Dow Jones Newswires.

Thomson became the Journal's managing editor in May, taking over from Marcus Brauchli, who resigned in April. Thomson also serves as Dow Jones Co. editor in chief. Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton is now publisher of the Journal.

Since the purchase of Dow Jones closed in December, News Corp.'s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, has moved quickly to reshape the Journal with more general and political news and to compete more aggressively with The New York Times for national readers and advertisers.