As news organizations prioritize resources, lifestyle coverage has often taken a back seat — and that has become apparent at The Wall Street Journal in recent months.
The Journal, which restructured its newsroom late last year, has done away with Teri Agins‘ fashion column “Ask Teri,” Marshall Heyman‘s party column “Heard and Scene,” Christina Binkley‘s “On Style” column and Elizabeth Holmes’ style column. It couldn’t be determined if all the writers were offered buyouts, but the changes at the Journal are part of a larger reorganization of its arts and culture coverage, as well as select business sections.
A spokeswoman from the Journal confirmed the termination of the regular columns, adding: “Over the years we have regularly refreshed column topics. While there have been some recent changes, the Life & Arts section continues to feature Sue Shellenbarger’s ‘Work & Family,’ Elizabeth Bernstein’s ‘Bonds,’ Sumathi Reddy’s ‘Your Health,’ Scott McCartney’s ‘Middle Seat,’ A.J. Baime’s ‘My Ride,’ Marc Myers’ ‘Anatomy of a Song,’ ‘Turning Points’ by Clare Ansberry and ‘What’s Your Workout’ (by various people) among others.”
None of those refreshed columns include style-centric criticism, however. The spokeswoman emphasized that the paper still covers fashion in its Life & Arts section, via its Off Duty teams and in the pages of WSJ Magazine. (Off Duty also has a society column dubbed “Fete Accompli,” which appears to take the place of Heyman’s column).
The new Journal now includes the combination of Personal Journal and Arena under Life & Arts. Greater New York, a Rupert Murdoch machination, was cut late last year. The Saturday paper continues to have a main news section, Business and Finance, Review and Off Duty, as well as WSJ magazine, which comes out 12 times a year.
The restructuring at the newsroom is central to The Journal’s WSJ2020 strategic review, which is supposed to help the company trim $100 million from its budget. Following a round of layoffs, about buyouts totaling 200 altogether, and the redesign of the paper, the newsroom took another blow as Rebecca Blumstein, a well respected deputy editor in chief, left the company for rival The New York Times.
The Journal’s editor in chief Gerard Baker called a town hall style meeting Monday to address concerns about the paper’s strategy, as it expands its digital efforts in the face of print revenue declines, as well as coverage of President Trump, which some at the company deemed as too soft, in comparison to its competitors.