Details on ‘Wall Street Journal’s Newsroom Re-org

By: E&P Staff

The Wall Street Journal’s Jim Pensiero shed more light on the reorganization of the newsroom after the paper announced on Wednesday that 50 positions would be eliminated, mostly in areas of copyediting and page production.

Pensiero’s note to staffers about the new desk structure follows.

________

To WSJ News staff:

Here’s a brief look at how the new desk structure will be organized for the print and online WSJ.

OVERVIEW
The Journal’s daily news operations will be run by four deputy managing editors: National, International, Page One and Features.

News-editing and news-production duties are divided into four broad areas: News and Page One desks, and Personal Journal and Weekend Journal.

Matt Murray and Nik Deogun jointly manage the restructured News Desk, which is responsible for handling all political, corporate, economic, market and general news in their areas. Mike Williams oversees the Page One desk, which handles investigative and enterprise feature stories. Mike Miller runs Personal Journal and Weekend Journal, as well as Journal Reports and WSJ magazine.

All reporting bureaus report to one of the top editors: U.S. bureaus to Matt Murray; international bureaus and the Money team to Nik Deogun; investigative teams. including the DC investigative unit, to Mike Williams; and features groups to Mike Miller.

Four shared support groups-Design, Photo, Infographics and Prepress-will serve all desks and sections.

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE NEW STRUCTURE
LEADERSHIP

Managing Editor: Robert Thomson
Senior DME/Features: Mike Miller
DME/National: Matt Murray
DME/International: Nik Deogun
DME/Page One, Investigative: Mike Williams

KEY PLAYERS
Senior DME/Features/Mike Miller
Key tasks: Senior deputy to the managing editor; responsible for features sections, including Personal Journal, Weekend Journal, Journal Reports and the WSJ magazine.

Works with: National, International and Page One editors.
Controls: Personal and Weekend Journal, Journal Reports and the magazine.
Reports to: Managing editor.


DME/National/Matt Murray
Key tasks: Together with DME/International, jointly manages the News Desk hub. Directs corporate, political and general news coverage in North America for all channels. Responsible for all U.S. news bureaus.

Works with: International, Markets and Page One desks, and Features operations.
Controls: Domestic bureaus, Corporate and National desks, News Desk hub.
Reports to: Managing editor.

DME/International/Nik Deogun
Key tasks: Together with DME/National, jointly manages the News Desk hub. Directs international corporate, markets, political and general news coverage for all channels. Manages foreign news bureaus and Money team.

Works with: National and Page One desks, and with Features operations.
Controls: Foreign bureaus, Money reporters and Markets desk, and News Desk hub.
Reports to: Managing editor.

DME/Page One/Mike Williams
Key tasks: Responsible for feature and investigative articles for all channels.

Works with: News and Features desks.
Controls: Investigative bureaus, including in DC, and the Page One desk.
Reports to: Managing editor.

OPERATIONS
NEWS DESK
Leaders: Matt Murray, Nik Deogun
Key Components:
1. Hub
2. National News (U.S.)
3. International News
4. Corporate News
5. Markets and Finance News

Current print and online editing desks are combined and then subdivided into teams focused on editing stories and producing publications and services. The National and International DMEs will coordinate among the desks to ensure both quality and an even workload is maintained.

PAGE ONE
Leader: Mike Williams
Key Components:
1. Page One desk

Page One editor is tasked with working with National and International editors to commission edit and prepare major investigative and feature stories.

FEATURES
Leader: Mike Miller
Key Components:
1. Personal Journal
2. Weekend Journal
3. WSJ magazine
4. Journal Reports

These teams continue largely as stand-alone operations, though drawing on the shared desks for specific needs, such as photo editing.


D. SHARED DESKS
1. Design Desk
While all teams will have integrated design and pagination capability, a Design Desk will ensure design integrity across the Journal, help in load leveling as well as perform pagination and layout functions for the overseas editions, pages for partner papers and some Barron’s pages. The team includes headcut illustrators as well as the color lab for processing images.

2. Picture Desk
Perform photo research and assignment tasks for all desks. It also manages the Journal’s photo contracts.

3. Information Graphics Desk
The team researches and builds interactive and print graphics for all sections of the Journal, including databases and other stand-alone projects.

4. Prepress
Perform final quality control on Journal and Barron’s pages and ensure they arrive at print sites.


TIMELINE:

Mid-July Announce restructuring

Early August Interview and select new news desk teams
Mid-August Begin transition to new structure

September Complete move to WFC

Early December Begin training on Eidos; through January

Mid-January Prep for move to 1211 AoA.

Early February Begin rollout of Eidos system; completed by May.

Late March Move to 1211 AoA.

We’ll be presenting additional details in the weeks ahead.

Best regards,
Jim Pensiero

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