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Dow Jones launches Real-Time News Desk, CEO Fenwick departs

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Dow Jones launches Real-Time News Desk, CEO Fenwick departs

On Tuesday, a day that also saw the announcement that Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick would be leaving the company, WSJ Managing Editor Gerard Baker sent out a memo to the publication’s staff, confirming the new initiatives.

“Today marks a significant step forward in the integration and digitization of the newsroom, as 60 of our colleagues arrive on the 6th floor of 1211 to complete the new Real-Time News Desk that sits at the center of our news operation in New York,” Baker wrote in the memo, which was published by Jim Romenesko on his blog.

Baker expanded on the role of the Real-Time News Desk, saying it “will maintain a lively, fresh, and newsy flow over Newswires,, mobile platforms and on social media.” The purpose of the desk, the memo said, is to serve many of The Wall Street Journal’s digital needs: headlines, breaking news, online features, etc.

As part of the transition to the digital-first model, stronger emphasis has been placed on breaking news, writes Joe Pompeo of Capital New York. He quotes Baker, in a separate internal memo, saying “scoops are the only guarantee of survival.”

Pompeo also notes that 2013 was the first year in which Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal shared newsrooms. The result, according to Pompeo, was a culture clash between staff focused primarily on breaking stories, and writers who valued structure and prose.

The second prominent change was parent company News Corp.'s announcement of the departure of Fenwick and that he would be replaced in the interim by William Lewis, News Corp's Chief Creative Officer. Fenwick’s tenure at Dow Jones lasted less than two years. He'd previously had a 25-year career at Bloomberg LP, most recently as CEO of Bloomberg Ventures.

Fenwick’s major project at Dow Jones was DJX, a product that merged many Dow Jones products into one unit and charged a standard price for the full package. Quartz columnist John McDuling writes that DJX was an attempt by Dow Jones to catch up to its competitors, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. The product, launched in August, "has gotten off to an underwhelming start," McDuling reported.

“We’re reviewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its customers. As part of that, we’re planning improvements to DJX. We will also be redoubling our efforts to develop The Wall Street Journal and its digital properties globally,” News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson said in the release.

WAN-IFRA's Brian Veseling contributed to this report.


Salim Valji


2014-01-22 18:06

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The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

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