Brauchli Sends Memo to Staff on His ‘WSJ’ Exit

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By: E&P Staff

Marcus Brauchli sent the following memo to Wall Street Journal staffers after this afternoon’s official announcement of his resignation as the paper’s top editor (see other stories).
A year ago, I was appointed managing editor, and we set off together on a great journey. We faced uncertainty about our ownership, inclement conditions in our industry and consensus that change was necessary. And so we chose a path of transformation.

We rethought the central tenets of our approach, with the aim of making a great news organization even better.

During this time of transition, we have not strayed from our mission,
producing engaging journalism that illuminates and informs our world.

Our reporters, whether in Lhasa or Los Angeles, Washington or Wall Street, are courageous, resourceful and infinitely talented. Our editing, graphics and production staff, too, are brilliant, creative and deeply dedicated.

I am proud to have been part of this exceptionally talented team.

But now that the ownership transition has taken place, I have come to
believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing.

So, today, I am resigning.

I revere this institution and respect all of my colleagues, both old and
new. When News Corp bought Dow Jones, together we crafted an editorial agreement designed to protect our independence. The agreement was designed to block commercial or political interference in our journalism and to ensure we adhered to our code of conduct.

Since the acquisition last December, the new management scrupulously has avoided imposing any political or business viewpoints on our coverage and rigorously has enforced the code of conduct. I am confident that our journalistic integrity remains intact and that News Corp. is committed to a Journal that is vibrant, vital and preeminent in American journalism.

Under the terms of the editorial agreement, our independence is enforced by a Special Committee. I have met with and conveyed my thoughts to the Special Committee. Many thanks for your extraordinary dedication and support in this last year. I have no doubt the journey we embarked on together will continue to bring Journal readers the best in journalism and you and the Journal continued success.

UPDATE: The special committee designed to protect the editorial integrity of the newspaper will have oversight and approval over the hiring of a new managing editor, a News Corp. source told E&P this afternoon.

The special committee, created last year following the News Corp. purchase, includes: Louis Boccardi, former president and chief executive officer of the Associated Press; Thomas J. Bray, former reporter and bureau chief in The Wall Street Journal news department; Jack Fuller, retired president of the Tribune Publishing Co.; Nicholas Negroponte, cofounder the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Susan M. Phillips, dean of the George Washington University School of Business.

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