Wall Street Journal Crashes, Slashes Edit Staff

In a staff announcement late Thursday, News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Co. unit said it was reducing the number of journalists working for The Wall Street Journal by 14 positions, which follow 11 journalists lost through "attrition" over the past couple of months.

"It is obvious to you all that we are in the midst of an unprecedented economic downturn," Dow Jones & Co. Editor-in-Chief Robert Thomson stated in the memo, adding, "We are also in the midst of an unprecedented increase in our readership, in print and online, but a precipitous decline in print advertising revenue has forced a close examination of our structures and of our costs."

Thomson added that there are no plans for lay-offs at Dow Jones Newswires, which has actually been expanding via the recent launch of a Spanish-language edition and an India regional edition.

"At theJournal, we are closing the New York-based Fashion and Retail Group, though we will maintain coverage and reassign some editors and reporters to other bureaus. Other groups losing a position include the Los Angeles and Boston bureaus, along with the New York-based Law, Health and Real Estate groups, and the Library."

The lay-offs follow a dismal earnings release by parent News Corp., which reported its biggest net loss ever, after taking an $8.4 billion write-down related to the value of its Dow Jones acquisition.



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