dowjones.jpgDow Jones & Co., the News Corp.-owned publisher of The Wall Street Journal, yesterday announced plans to merge its two biggest business units: its consumer and enterprise operations.

The restructuring combines the company’s consumer arm — which includes the Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s — with its newswire and Factiva businesses. The move also includes an executive shakeup, with CFO Stephen Daintith taking on the role of chief operating officer of the company and Todd Larsen, COO of the Consumer Media Group, becoming president. Clare Hart, president of the Enterprise Media Group, is leaving the company where she has worked for more than 25 years.

Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton said the move was all about streamlining operations. “This structure will provide the focus to make us faster and better than our rivals at identifying and meeting customer needs,” he said in a statement.

Dow Jones also has a third business unit, the Local Media Group, which will continue to operate independently after the combination of the other two groups is completed.

Although the Journal had a banner year in 2009, becoming the number one paper in the U.S. based on circulation, it has not been immune from cuts, including the closure of its Boston bureau. In November, news surfaced that Dow Jones had hired consultancy McKinsey & Co., known for its brutal slashing of media companies like Condé Nast. Could this restructuring be a result of McKinsey’s influence?

Update: Our sister blog PRNewser reports that a Dow Jones spokesperson said the reorganization will have “no effect” on editorial staffing at the company.

Full release, after the jump

Previously: Dow Jones Taps McKinsey & Co.

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