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WSJ Firing 50 Editors, Hiring 95 Reporters

David Kaplan reports on a big shake-up at Wall Street Journal:

WSJ is cutting 50 editorial positions as it moves to reform editing functions across print, online and mobile, according to a staff memo written by Robert Thomson, the News Corp (NYSE: NWS). paper’s managing editor. The Global News, Global Copy, Global Pagination, Monitor and the stand alone WSJ.com editing desks “will cease to exist” as the separation between those areas are taken down. The New York offices will be the central editing hub and most of the editorial operations in South Brunswick will be closed.

Peter Kafka points out that this “move has been telegraphed for many months.”

At his D Conference in late May, for instance, Murdoch expressed amazement that each piece of WSJ copy is touched by an average of 8.3 people before it gets into print: “That’s ridiculous”. That average is almost certainly going to shrink now.

Indeed.  My boss is a former senior editor at the Journal and he speaks with reverence for the paper’s high editorial standards.   There’s something to be said for having layers of editors going through copy to improve the writing, ask the right questions, and generally provide seasoned input.  Maybe 8.3 hands are too many, though.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. Triumph says:

    Hiring reporters sounds promising. I let my WSJ subscription lapse last fall before Rupee took over. They have always had great reportage. Hopefully some of those editors being fired are at the op-ed desk–that section of the paper was essentially worthless.

    The main thing I miss from the WSJ is Eric Felten’s column on mixed drinks every Saturday. I hope he’s still around.

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  2. Paul Barnes says:

    Man, I would hate to be the .3

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  3. […] the country, is reporting a whopping 36% drop in second-quarter profit this year. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is trimming their editorial staff by 50 while hiring 95 more reporters. The move was prompted by Rupert Murdoch’s realization that […]

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