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
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m