Breaking: Dow Jones Lays Off Around 50 Editors At Wall Street Journal's South Brunswick, NJ Offices; May Rehire Some

Posted by: Jon Fine on July 16, 2008

Well, that didn’t take very long.

Wall Street Journal augments its five dismissals on Monday with around 50 job cuts in its South Brunswick, NJ offices, as those jobs shift to the Journal’s New York headquarters.

Some of those staffers—perhaps as many as two dozen, per one source, though this sounds high to me UPDATE: a dozen seems more likely—may be rehired.

According to the memo from Managing Editor Robert Thomson, “most of the editorial operations in South Brunswick will be closed.”

As Drudge says: developing. Updates, and Thomson’s memo, after the jump.

Staffers are thinking this may not be the last cuts of the Journal's middle ranks of editors.

From: Thomson, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 3:30 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff
Subject: Staff Announcement

Colleagues,

With the Journal’s new leadership team in place, we are reforming our editing structure and changing fundamentally the way in which we produce The Wall Street Journal in its manifold forms. The reasons for these changes are strategic, even if some of the benefits are economic.

Beginning next month, the news hub in New York will be responsible for editing copy and producing pages across all our platforms – in print, online and on mobile. The Global News, Global Copy, Global Pagination, Monitor and the standalone WSJ.com editing desks as we know them will cease to exist and most of the editorial operations in South Brunswick will be closed.

We will be posting the new editing desk jobs no later than Friday and genuinely encourage all staffers affected by this announcement to apply for these openings in New York. About 50 positions will be lost, but staffers with the highest skill levels and the enthusiasm to acquire new skills will have a distinct advantage during the selection process. A detailed explanation of the new structure will be sent to you shortly.

The reformed structure means that it is essential for reporters and bureau chiefs to ensure that copy filed to the news desk is clean, to length and conforms to our style. Stadium Editing will be a practice of the past and design, for both print and web, will be integral to the evolution of each story and every page.

I realize that this reorganization will be a challenge operationally and, for some of you, personally. It is obvious that the South Brunswick team created in the wake of the September 11 attack is bearing the brunt of these changes. The individuals most affected will be counseled about their options and their opportunities.

Our situation should be put in its contemporary context. In recent months, we have invested in a significantly larger newshole, contrary to the industry trend, and filled long-vacant reporting positions in many bureaus. Our new budget includes an ambitious expansion of our web and international operations, both for the Journal and for Newswires, where we are adding 95 journalists over coming months. We also have secured a generous investment in a state-of-the-art editing and publishing system. There is good reason for optimism at Dow Jones amidst the pessimism prevailing in our industry.

Yours,

Robert

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Reader Comments

mbi

July 17, 2008 09:48 AM

Who needs people to put out a newspaper anyway?

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The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.

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