Dow Jones CEO Zannino to Leave Company

Dow Jones,publisher of the Wall Street Journal, said Thursday that Chief Executive Richard Zannino will leave the company once its acquisition by News Corp is completed.

Dow Jones and News Corp did not officially name a successor to Zannino in the release announcing his departure.

But a report on the Wall Street Journal's Web site said that Les Hinton would take over the chief executive job once the deal is completed.

Hinton, a veteran News Corp executive, is currently the executive chairman on the News International division of the media conglomerate.

Times of London Editor Robert Thomson, who had been widely expected to join the Wall Street Journal, will become publisher of the business newspaper, according to the report.

Zannino took over as CEO of Dow Jones in 2006, overseeing the publisher during a time when the newspaper industry has struggled with declining readership and competition for advertising dollars from new media like the Internet.

Earlier this year, Zannino helped broker the company's $5.6 billion sale to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which will add the Wall Street Journal as well as Barron's, Marketwatch.com and other media to its international news empire.

Dow Jones shareholders are expected to approve the deal at a meeting next Thursday.

Zannino's resignation appears to be the beginning of management changes ahead of the deal's closing. News Corp's Times of London editor Robert Thomson, a vocal Murdoch defender during News Corp's courting of Dow Jones, is expected to take a top level position at Dow Jones, according to several published reports.

News Corp declined to comment.