Top 'WSJ' editor leaves after four months under Murdoch

Marcus Brauchli, the most senior editor at The Wall Street Journal, is to quit his post just four months after the $5bn (£2.5bn) takeover of the newspaper by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The resignation comes amid newsroom gossip about conflicts between Mr Brauchli and Robert Thomson, the former editor of The Times in the UK, who has been brought in as publisher of the Journal.

Employees have regarded Mr Brauchli, whose official title is managing editor, as a bulwark between them and the new proprietor, and a key figure in maintaining the editorial independence of the paper under News Corp.

Mr Brauchli went out of his way yesterday to insist that Mr Murdoch has not sought to impose a political agenda or to promote his own business interests through the paper, but in a memo to staff he added: "I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing."

Mr Murdoch's takeover of the Journal was sealed in part by his promise to safeguard its integrity, which is policed by an independent editorial board. That board met yesterday and issued a statement saying it was satisfied there was no issue of editorial interference. It must approve a successor.

Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones, the News Corp division that runs the paper, said Mr Brauchli had "deftly guided the Journal's coverage of every major news event of the past decade and is leaving the paper in a position of great strength". The company said it would "begin a search for Mr Brauchli's replacement immediately", with Mr Thomson taking over on an interim basis. Mr Brauchli is staying on as a consultant to News Corp, and may help to develop a business channel for Star TV, its Asian satellite division.

Mr Murdoch is repositioning the Journal as a direct competitor to The New York Times, both for readers and advertising dollars. In recent weeks, the paper has introduced sports coverage and put a greater emphasis on political news. Mr Brauchli is said to have attempted to find a "middle path" between the paper's old guard and Murdoch's new vision for the paper, and a particular bone of contention is believed to have been the sacking of a number of mid-level editors. Mr Murdoch and Mr Thomson are rumoured to have demanded many such redundancies, to free up resources for more reporting.

Mr Brauchli, 46, formally took over the top job last May, soon after news of News Corp's bid to buy Dow Jones first became public. Mr Murdoch succeeded in acquiring Dow Jones several months later only after an extended campaign to win over the Bancroft family, the company's former controlling shareholders.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Administration Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

Ashdown Group: Solvency II Project Manager - 10 month contract - £800 p/d

£800 per day: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, global financial services co...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open