The Wall Street Journal will debut an overhauled and slimmed-down version of its print product on Nov. 14 in an effort to make the paper more financially viable "for the foreseeable future," Journal editor Gerard Baker announced in an internal memo to staff Wednesday.
The changes, which mostly consist of consolidations and combinations of sections, will come with staff cuts, Baker warned. One section to be hit hard is the newspaper's Greater New York coverage, which will be consolidated to a "more concise, focused daily report on life and business," Baker said.
"All newspapers face structural challenges and we must move to create a print edition that can stand on a sound financial footing for the foreseeable future while our digital horizons continue to expand," Baker wrote in the memo. "As I previously mentioned, there will unfortunately need to be an elimination of some positions as part of this process."
To give a sense of what the section consolidations could mean in terms of staff reductions, consider that Greater New York currently has a team of roughly three dozen, including reporters, editors and production people. The staff was informed in a meeting Wednesday afternoon that since Greater New York will be moving to two pages in the main section of the paper, the number of positions will be trimmed to 16, including 12 reporters, and that everyone will have to reapply to secure one of those jobs.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after the Journal offered all of its 1,500 employees voluntary buyouts to reduce the number of layoffs that Baker said would be inevitable. The move also comes amid anxiety and uncertainty stemming from the publication's financial woes and the way the Journal is handling the changing newspaper industry.
Other sections will also be consolidated. The Journal's Business & Tech and Money & Investing sections will be combined into a new Business & Finance section; similarly, the Journal's Personal Journal and Arena sections will be combined into a section called Life & Arts....MORE