‘Wall St. Journal’ Axes 23 Reporters

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(AP) Dow Jones & Co., which announced last week it would cut 230 jobs, said Monday that 23 Wall Street Journal reporters will be laid off and another eight are taking voluntary buyouts.

Some of the laid-off employees will work through the end of the year, said Brigitte Trafford, a spokeswoman for Dow Jones, publisher of the Journal and other media properties. She said two reporting teams at the Journal will be eliminated, the New York law group and the regional economics team.

Tom Lauricella, newsroom director for Dow Jones’ union, the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, said the cuts would hurt the newspaper’s coverage of stories such as scandals involving Worldcom, Enron, and Martha Stewart.

“These are people who have been at the center of reporting on some of the biggest stories of the past year,” he said. “This is a core area of coverage for any national newspaper, and they’ve just sent these people packing.”

Trafford said the cuts would not impair the Journal‘s coverage. “We still have the resources to cover legal affairs and regional economics without maintaining a separate stand-alone group,” she said.

The job cuts were expected. Last month, Dow Jones said in its quarterly earnings report that reductions were likely, although it did not specify a number.

The company has been hit especially hard by a large drop in technology and financial advertising, two of its staple revenue streams.

With the latest cuts, Dow Jones will have eliminated 1,120 positions since the beginning of 2000. It employed about 7,000 worldwide at the end of September.

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