‘WSJ’ Combines NY Tech and Media Bureaus

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By: E&P Staff

In a nod to the morphing world of media and technology, The Wall Street Journal is combining its New York tech bureau with the Media & Marketing group. Rich Turner, who heads Media & Marketing, will oversee the merged bureaus. Almar Latour, the former New York technology chief, has been appointed WSJ.com’s managing editor.

Peter Grant and Martin Peers will continue their roles as deputy bureau chiefs. A full copy of the memo announcing the changes from Deputy Managing Editor Bill Grueskin and Managing Editor Marcus Brauchli follows.

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Folks,

When Almar Latour left as chief of the NY tech bureau to become WSJ.com’s managing editor, we knew we had big shoes to fill. We also realized this presented a chance for us to better reflect the way that industry has changed.

The tech group oversees a broad swath of coverage, with particular focus on telecom, internet and cable. Increasingly, though, the business models of those industries are being transformed as lines blur between content and distribution. And so Comcast makes a bid to buy Disney, AOL tries to change its DNA from an internet-service provider to an advertising company, and what we used to call a phone company is now piping broadband and televised programming into millions of homes.

In that light, we have decided to merge the NY tech bureau with the Media & Marketing group, and have asked Rich Turner to oversee the newly combined bureau. And, together with Rich, we have asked Peter Grant and Martin Peers to continue as deputy bureau chiefs in this group.

We believe that the combination of these bureaus will make us more flexible and more attuned to the earth-shaking changes in that industry. It will enable us to create or modify beats to more fully reflect how people watch or create video, read news and communicate with each other. For the reporters, we’re sure, this will also be a lot of fun.

The changes take effect immediately, though it will be some time until we can get the whole group on one floor. In the meantime, we are asking everyone to make the best of a bi-floor bureau.

As you know, Rich is superbly suited to oversee this group. He oversaw our coverage of the Dow Jones/News Corp. deal, but that is just the most recent in a long string of big projects he has shepherded, including the Viacom/CBS split, the continuing drama at Time-Warner, and, notably, the golf column. Rich joined the Journal in 1989 as an entertainment reporter in the Los Angeles bureau and, after six years here, became served as an editor at New York magazine and then Newsweek, covering media. In 2000, he became executive editor of the Industry Standard, then rejoined the Journal in late 2001 as Media & Marketing deputy, becoming MAM editor two years later.

Rich is blessed with two skilled deputies. Peter was a first-rate real-estate reporter before distinguishing himself with coverage of the cable beat and also helping to supervise our telecom and tech coverage. Martin has a deep knowledge of the media world and has had a hand in reporting, writing or editing major pieces of recent years, from the Time Warner-AOL merger to upheaval at Viacom.

Please join us in offering Rich, Martin and Peter our best wishes as they bring these two groups together and devise ways to cover one of the most exciting stories of our time. And please feel free to let Rich or Bill know your thoughts on how to make the most of this.

Best,

Grueskin/Brauchli

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