Brit Hinton heads Dow Jones

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NEW YORK - Dow Jones & Co. could be in for a U.K.-style makeover once Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. closes its acquisition of the financial powerhouse next week.

Murdoch has tapped longtime British newspaper lieutenant Les Hinton to head Dow Jones & Co., a source confirmed late Thursday. The news came after Richard Zannino said he will leave his post as Dow Jones CEO, which he had taken over last year.

U.S.-born Hinton has been running News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit as chairman of News International, which houses such titles as the Times of London and the Sun, for about 12 years. Dow Jones flagship The Wall Street Journal first reported the appointment on its Web site.

The Times also said that Times of London editor Robert Thomson will become publisher of the Journal, replacing Gordon Crovitz. A News Corp. spokeswoman declined comment on the future leadership of Dow Jones.

Among other things, Hinton has been credited with strengthening the Web presence and reach of his newspapers.

Shareholders will vote on the planned Dow Jones acquisition by News Corp. next week Thursday.

"I understand Rich's decision to seek new challenges," News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said. "During nearly two years as CEO, he proved himself to be an effective leader who revitalized Dow Jones during a time of great change in the industry."

He added that his team plans to build on the foundations built by Zannino and take Dow Jones "to even greater heights as part of News Corporation."

Zannino said: "Dow Jones is well on its way toward achieving its strategic and financial goals."

He also expressed support for News Corp.'s future handling of the company. "I will leave Dow Jones knowing the best is yet to come for readers, customers and employees under Rupert's leadership, given his visionary long-term perspective and willingness to commit substantial talent and resources to further develop its unmatched portfolio of brands on a global scale," Zannino said.
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