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Gerard Baker is stepping aside as editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal. He will be replaced by his deputy, Matt Murray.
Baker, who had edited the newspaper since 2013, will transition to a role as editor at large.
As editor-at-large, Baker will be responsible for “regular writing, hosting the paper’s expanding network of conferences and events, and television presenting,” according to the announcement. Most notably, he will host a “WSJ-branded news and interview show” on Fox Business Network.
In the announcement, Baker thanked the Murdoch family, which owns the newspaper through News Corp. “It has been an extraordinary opportunity to have led the world’s greatest and most trusted news organization,” Baker said in a prepared statement. “I’m enormously grateful to Rupert, Lachlan and Robert for entrusting me with the Journal’s mission and it has been an unsurpassed privilege to have worked with so many talented and dedicated colleagues.”
Baker had a history of clashing with his newsroom over coverage of the Trump administration, though it’s unclear if those tensions precipitated his transition.
In August, Baker criticized his newspaper’s coverage of a Trump rally in Arizona as “commentary dressed up as news reporting.” He asked, at the time, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”
Baker’s national profile increased after he co-hosted a Republican presidential debate in November 2015.
Murray, who is taking over the top job June 11, said, “There is little doubt that at a time when journalism faces a host of challenges, readers are hungry for sophisticated, fair, illuminating and fact-based journalism — and see us as a uniquely trusted news source. I especially appreciate the support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, Robert, Will, and the leadership of Dow Jones, and I thank Gerry for his significant contributions to the Journal and his support for me.”
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