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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Thomson’

News Corp. to Buy Romance Novel Publisher Harlequin

News Corp. is about to get a lot steamier. The company is buying Harlequin, the romance novel publisher owned by Torstar Corporation. News Corp. will then place Harlequin under the Harper Collins umbrella. The deal is expected to be for about $415 million in cash.

Harlequin’s titles are hilarious — Take Me Now, From Single Mom to Secret Heiress, A Cowboy’s Temptation and His Kind of Trouble are just a few of our favorites — but it’s a serious business.

Harlequin has published six billion books since it was founded in the late 40s and currently cranks out more than 110 titles per month. Those books are sold in 34 languages and on six continents. Of course Harlequin also has ebooks, apps and other digital products.

Robert Thomson, News Corp’s CEO, described Harlequin as “a perfect fit.”

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Lex Fenwick Out at Dow Jones

Lex Fenwick is out as CEO of Dow Jones. News Corp. just announced that Fenwick — who joined the company in 2012 — is departing, and William Lewis will takeover as interim CEO.

The company also proclaimed that it “plans to review Dow Jones’ institutional strategy.”

“We thank Lex for his time and energy at the helm of Dow Jones, and in particular for his original vision of DJX as an innovative way to integrate content and deliver it to customers in a timely manner,” said Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, in a statement.

Lewis joined News Corp’s News International in 2010. He most recently served as News Corp.’s chief creative officer.

News Corp Buys Social News Site Storyful

News Corp has purchased Storyful, an Ireland-based startup that works with media companies to gather and verify news via social networking sites. News Corp shelled out $25 million for Storyful, which was founded in 2010 by Mark Little, a former journalist.

As part of the deal, Storyful will operate as its own business under the News Corp umbrella. Its existing partnerships with media companies will continue. Little and David Clinch, Storyful’s executive editor, will still oversee the company’s operations. Rahul Chopra, senior VP of video for News Corp, will join Storyful’s management team, and add chief revenue officer to his role.

“Storyful has become the village square for valuable video, using journalistic sensibility, integrity and creativity to find, authenticate and commercialise user-generated content,” said Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, in a statement. “Through this acquisition, we can extend the village square across borders, languages and platforms.”

News Corp. Sells Local Newspapers

News Corp. has sold its Dow Jones Local Media Group — which operates over 30 publications, including eight daily and 15 weekly newspapers — to Fortress Investment Group. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Some of the papers involved in the sale include the Times Herald-Record (Middletown, New York); the Cape Cod Times and The Standard-Times (Hyannis and New Bedford, Massachusetts); The Record (Stockton, California) and The Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania).

“These newspapers share a strong tradition of service in their communities and a highly talented staff,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp.’s CEO, in a statement. “We are confident that the papers will prosper under the new owners, but they were not strategically consistent with the emerging portfolio of the new News [Corp.].”

Michael Wolff Says New York Post Will Die Before Rupert Murdoch

Michael Wolff doesn’t exactly believe in the New York Post’s future. In a scathing column, Wolff declares that the Post is slowly dying and that it will perish before Rupert Murdoch does. Grim! Here are a few things that Wolff says point to the end of the tabloid:

    • The upcoming News Corp. split. “As Murdoch gets ready to separate his newspapers from his richer entertainment holdings in a move that will force the papers to pay their own way, the Post’s day of reckoning nears.”
    • Even Rupert Murdoch is losing faith in the paper. It has become “an increasingly sclerotic and gothic enterprise, full of aging figures.”
    • “Robert Thompson, the Wall Street Journal editor, who will be the CEO of the new newspaper company, is openly contemptuous of Col Allen and the paper’s low-rent, cowboy atmosphere.” If Robert Thompson is mad at Col Allen, imagine how Robert Thomson feels about Col Allan!
    • The paper is losing a ton of money. Wolff says it’s about $80 million per year, but we’ve heard estimates as high as $110 million.

Dow Jones Promotes Gerard Baker, Robert Thomson to Lead New Publishing Unit

A couple big changes at Dow Jones & Company are taking place. Effective January 1, 2013, Gerard Baker will be the editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, and Robert Thomson will be CEO of News Corp’s publishing unit.

Baker was most recently the deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal, a role he has had since 2009. He is succeeding Thomson, who had been editor of Dow Jones and managing editor of the Journal for the past five years.

“Gerry Baker’s extensive background across digital and print, as well as publications and geographies, has helped shape the Journal’s coverage during his time as deputy editor-in-chief, said Lex Fenwick, CEO of Dow Jones & Company and publisher of the Journal, in a statement. ”I am thrilled to work with him as he builds on Robert Thomson’s fantastic work to steer us to even greater heights.”

“It has been a joy and an education to be a member of the Dow Jones newsroom these last four years, and I am acutely conscious of what an extraordinary privilege and profound responsibility it is to be editor-in-chief,” added Baker.

Alan Murray Leaves WSJ for Pew Research Center

Alan Murray is leaving the Wall Street Journal, where he has been since 1983, to become president of the Pew Research Center. Murray  came to the Journal as a reporter covering economic policy, and worked his way up from there.

Murray most recently served as the paper’s online deputy managing editor and executive editor. Raju Narisetti will succeed him.

“Digital is a land of many metrics, and the metrics during Alan’s reign have been extraordinary,” said Robert Thomson, Dow Jones’ editor-in-chief and the Journal’s managing editor, in a memo. “Our audience has expanded fourfold during the past five years and almost 65 million people visit our sites each month. Each of those individuals owes Alan a small word of thanks, but no words can capture the gratitude I have for his enduring contribution to the Journal and to journalism.”

The full memo from Thomson is below.

Read more

Rumors Circulate About New WSJ EIC

When News Corp. splits its companies into two segments — entertainment and publishing — it is expected that current Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Robert Thomson will head up the latter. With Thompson moving on, the Journal’s newsroom, according to The Huffington Post, is “buzzing” about who will replace him.

Here are all the people being considered for the top spot; or to replace the deputy editor-in-chief, Gerald Baker, should he get the nod:

  • Gerard Baker. He is naturally the lead candidate, but some at the Journal aren’t too happy about that. In fact, in 2011, one staffer said it would be “Horrifying” if Baker got the job. That might be a tad dramatic, but hey, nothing fuels a rumor like an overreaction.
  • Alan Murray. The deputy managing editor, executive editor of online is close behind Baker for grabbing Thomson’s role.
  • Michael Miller. Another deputy managing editor.
  • Matt Murray. International and investing editor.
  • Almar Latour. Editor-in-chief of the Journal’s Asia edition.

Kristina O’Neill Named Editor of WSJ.

Kristina O’Neill has been named the new editor-in-chief of WSJ. magazine. O’Neill most recently served as executive editor of Harper’s Bazaar, where she had been since 2000. O’Neill succeeds Deborah Needleman, who left WSJ. to edit T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

“The appointment of Kristina, one of America’s most talented editors, marks a new phase of the exponential evolution of WSJ.,” said Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, in a statement. “We are increasing the frequency and expanding global reach in the coming year with our winning mix of intelligent writing and visual virtuosity — gloss without dross is our magazine mantra.”

O’Neill will report to Ruth Altchek, who, in a related move, has been named editorial director for WSJ Weekend, a new role at the Journal. She will now oversee the “Off Duty” section and WSJ. magazine.

O’Neill’s appointment is effective October 29.

WSJ Sends Out ‘The Layoffs Memo’

Jim Romensko got his hands on quite an ominous memo from The Wall Street Journal’s managing editor Robert Thomson today. A source told Romenesko that its being called “the layoff memo” inside the Journal’s newsroom, and its easy to see why.

Here’s a couple snippets:

we must now begin a new phase of integration, creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication and puts extra emphasis on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting…

…A team of senior editors will be reaching out to many of you in coming days to solicit opinions and elicit ideas. We will then distil your wisdom (and discard my preconceptions) and move quickly to form new reporting and editing teams to take advantage of the manifold opportunities…

Yeah, doesn’t sound too promising. For the full note, head over to Romenesko.

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