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Wall Street Journal's Managing Editor Resigns

The Wall Street Journal's managing editor is resigning, Dow Jones said, setting the stage for News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch to further consolidate his power in the business paper's newsroom.

The Wall Street Journal.
AP
The Wall Street Journal.

Marcus Brauchli, who was named to the top editorial position at the paper a year ago, has accepted a position as consultant at News Corp .

"I am proud to have been part of this exceptionally talented team," Brauchli said in his resignation letter.

"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." The meeting came after Brauchli met with a committee designed to protect editorial integrity at the paper after News Corp bought it.

"I am pleased he has accepted this new role in News Corporation and believe his experience will be a great asset, especially in Asia -- a region where we see significant growth potential and where he has particular expertise," Murdoch said in a statement.

Brauchli's departure is the latest in a wave of changes to have washed over the venerable business daily since Murdoch scooped it and parent company Dow Jones up for $5.6 billion in December last year.

The paper's format is changing, with Murdoch commissioning more general and political news, as well as commentary, sports and lifestyle stories.

He has installed former Times of London editor Robert Thomson as publisher, a job that some current and former employees said obviated Brauchli's position.

"The writing was on the wall nine months ago," one staffer said, referring to Thomson's appointment trumping Brauchli's power over the news operations at the Journal.

This has raised more than a few hackles among Journal employees and journalism experts who have raised the possibility that Murdoch would try to influence news coverage in a way that would favor his business interests.

Brauchli said News Corp management "scrupulously has avoided imposing any political or business viewpoints" on the paper's coverage and has enforced the code of conduct.