The Wall Street Journal, whose parent Dow Jones 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 on its Web site.
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.
None of the named staff members in the report could immediately be reached.
The Journal in a June 4 article named Brauchli and Gordon Crovitz as two of several Dow Jones executives who have briefed the Bancroft family on its attempts to secure promises from News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch that he would preserve the editorial independence of Dow Jones's news operations.
Brauchli has not said, however, whether he supports Murdoch's bid.
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 Murdoch on safeguarding The Journal's editorial independence in the event of a sale, the Times said.
Brauchli succeeded Paul Steiger last month. 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.
In a separate article on the Journal's Web site, the paper reported that Robert Thomson, editor of News Corp.'s Times of London newspaper, has discussed with Murdoch News Corp.'s strategy for Dow Jones.
Dow Jones shares closed Tuesday at $59.03 on the New York Stock Exchange, down almost 2% on the day.