Wall St. Journal reportedly set for shakeup


NEW YORK -- The Wall Street Journal, whose parent Dow Jones & Co. is the target of a $5 billion takeover offer by News Corp., is set to shake up its newsroom by reassigning and replacing several top editors, the New York Times reported in its online edition.

The reorganization represents a bid by the managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, who took the top newsroom job just a month ago, to put his stamp on the upper echelons of the Journal, according to the report citing officials at the newspaper.

Brauchli, in an e-mail message, declined to confirm or deny the Times report, but said: "key elements of the Times story are wrong or misleading." He did not provide more detail.

A Wall Street Journal spokesman declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for Dow Jones did not immediately return a call.

The changes to be announced Wednesday include the promotion of the managing editor of the Journal Online, William Grueskin, to deputy managing editor, and naming Daniel Hertzberg to head the paper's Asia and Europe editions from Brussels. Two deputy managing editors are expected to lose their titles, according to the report.

The newsroom announcement is due on the same day that the Bancroft family, which owns a controlling interest in Dow Jones, is expected to make a new proposal to News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch on safeguarding The Journal's editorial independence in the event of a sale, the Times said.

Brauchli, who succeeded Paul Steiger last month, most recently oversaw the Journal's redesign. He was a former foreign correspondent before becoming global news editor.

During the last few months of Steiger's reign, the Journal introduced a redesign and shrunk its size. The paper has also taken other action to broaden its appeal, including starting a Saturday edition to seek advertisers beyond its traditional market.