News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal announced today that it is shuttering its Boston bureau, laying off nine staffers. The Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch offices there will remain open, and none of those employees will be affected, the company said.
Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson said in a memo that this closure did not mean that other bureaus were in danger:
“Any such decision inevitably stirs apprehension and uncertainty, but there are no plans, nascent or otherwise, to close any other U.S. or international bureau.”
According to Thomson, an “investigative function” will remain in the city, while the Boston mutual fund industry will now be covered by the Money and Investing team in New York.
If the number one circulation paper in the country is laying off people, what hope is there for everyone else?
Thomson’s full memo, after the jump
Today we told our team in Boston that we are closing the bureau in its present form. The economic background to the closure is painfully obvious to us all. An investigative function will remain in Boston, but the core reporting team will be disbanded, though all nine reporters affected will certainly be able to apply for openings elsewhere on the paper. Coverage of the Boston mutual fund industry will switch to the Money and Investing team and we are creating an enhanced New York-based education team.
Any such decision inevitably stirs apprehension and uncertainty, but there are no plans, nascent or otherwise, to close any other U.S. or international bureau. Meanwhile, the Newswires bureau and the MarketWatch team in Boston will remain at their present staffing levels.
That there has been truly great reporting under the generalship of Gary Putka out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.