It's Official: Brauchli Out At WSJ; Insists 'Code Of Conduct' Protecting Paper Has Been Enforced

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Marcus Brauchli has resigned as managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, as expected following last night's reports . The company sent out the announcement following a meeting between members of the committee designated to "protect" the paper's editorial independence following the acquisition of Dow Jones by News Corp, Brauchli and execs from DJ and News Corp (NYSE: NWS).

Brauchli's new role? A consultant to News Corp providing "guidance to senior management in a wide range of areas, from advising The Wall Street Journal to exploring the possibility of a business news channel for STAR-TV in Asia." The announcement doesn't say why someone so unhappy in his current role would want to stay with the company but you can fill in the blanks.

The search for a successor officially begins now although it is hard to suspect it hasn't been ongoing or that someone isn't already in mind.

In a memo to staff (distributed with the News Corp press release and posted in full below the jump): Brauchli said: "I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing. So, today, I am resigning ... Since the acquisition last December, the new management scrupulously has avoided imposing any political or business viewpoints on our coverage and rigorously has enforced the code of conduct. I am confident that our journalistic integrity remains intact and that News Corp. is committed to a Journal that is vibrant, vital and preeminent in American journalism."

WSJ: "While the committee has to approve hiring of a new managing editor, the agreement covering its creation says nothing about its role if the editor resigns. The committee was created in a negotiation between News Corp. and Dow Jones leading up to last year's sale." (Text of agreement)

To the Staff:

A year ago, I was appointed managing editor, and we set off together on a great journey. We faced uncertainty about our ownership, inclement conditions in our industry and consensus that change was necessary. And so we chose a path of transformation.

We rethought the central tenets of our approach, with the aim of making a great news organization even better.

During this time of transition, we have not strayed from our mission, producing engaging journalism that illuminates and informs our world.

Our reporters, whether in Lhasa or Los Angeles, Washington or Wall Street, are courageous, resourceful and infinitely talented. Our editing, graphics and production staff, too, are brilliant, creative and deeply dedicated.

I am proud to have been part of this exceptionally talented team.

But now that the ownership transition has taken place, I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing.

So, today, I am resigning.

I revere this institution and respect all of my colleagues, both old and new. When News Corp bought Dow Jones, together we crafted an editorial agreement designed to protect our independence. The agreement was designed to block commercial or political interference in our journalism and to ensure we adhered to our code of conduct.

Since the acquisition last December, the new management scrupulously has avoided imposing any political or business viewpoints on our coverage and rigorously has enforced the cde of conduct. I am confident that our journalistic integrity remains intact and that News Corp. is committed to a Journal that is vibrant, vital and preeminent in American journalism.

Under the terms of the editorial agreement, our independence is enforced by a Special Committee. I have met with and conveyed my thoughts to the Special Committee. Many thanks for your extraordinary dedication and support in this last year. I have no doubt the journey we embarked on together will continue to bring Journal readers the best in journalism and you and the Journal continued success.


By Staci D. Kramer