Gerard Baker


Like rival The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal is retooling its news operations to accommodate the speed of the digital landscape. The reorganization, which was laid out by editor in chief Gerard Baker on Wednesday, includes revamping its Page One structure.

In a memo to staff, Baker said that even though the paper has made progress in “equipping” the newsroom for the challenges of the digital age by “streamlining” and “integrating editing resources,” some of its operations “still bend” “too much towards traditional print obligations.”

As a result, The Journal, like The Times a year earlier, focused on reorganizing newsroom leaders to produce a better daily news report.

Baker put deputy editor Rebecca Blumenstein in charge of newsgathering operations; all bureaus will report up to her through the bureau chiefs and the coverage chiefs. Now Glenn Hall, U.S. news editor; Adam Horvath, world news editor; Jason Anders, business editor, and Dennis Berman, financial editor, will all report to her. She will also oversee editors working on events and conferences.

Baker’s other deputy editor, Matt Murray, will oversee output across the paper’s Web, mobile and social platforms, as well as lead its news desks and editors working in those nonprint sectors.

Like Blumenstein, Murray will report to Baker, who turned to The Journal’s Page One structure. The new structure will have Alex Martin grab the reins as editor of news. Martin, who held the title of deputy managing editor and Page One editor, will work closely with coverage chiefs and he will run a large digital desk.

“Work will begin immediately on building the new desk, and Alex will work closely with digital news editor Erin White, who will also be a deputy to him, as well as the desk chiefs,” said Baker, who noted that more details would be available on the structure soon.

The Journal has been in the process of hiring digital reporters who react to news for a series of blogs, which may indicate the kind of fast-twitch reporting that readers can expect. At the same time, it has begun looking for reporters for deeper analysis of financial markets, WWD has learned.

Matthew Rose, who will now serve as enterprise editor, will focus on developing enterprise journalism, mainly for the digital report. He will work to “ensure” that The Journal’s “most penetrating reporting is available in increasingly engaging and complementary form in print,” Baker noted.

Rose and Martin will report to Murray. The Journal added that David Ho, mobile editor, and Carla Zanoni, social and executive emerging media editor, will report to Murray as “mobile and emerging media move closer to the center of the newsroom.” The Journal will create the role of print editor, also reporting to Murray.

In other appointments, Jennifer Hicks will serve as editor of digital products and innovation, while Stephen Wisnefski will become editor of professional news, focusing on WSJ Pro and other business-oriented products.

The Journal, which just got a channel on Snapchat’s Discover platform, said it would focus on such partnerships under new business initiatives editor Ann Podd.

Hicks, Wisnefski and Podd will report to Baker, as will features editor Mike Miller.

Miller, who is charged with Off Duty, WSJ Magazine, Mansion and other sections, will extend his reach and add the title of weekend editor in order to overhaul The Journal’s weekend news sections. Baker said senior editors Christine Glancey (news), Neal Lipschutz (standards and ethics), Jessica Yu (visuals) and Andy Regal (video) will continue to report to him.

Calling the changes “far-reaching,” the editor in chief said they would carry a physical reorganization within the New York newsroom.

Get the moving boxes ready.

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