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Industry Moves: Dow Jones Names Zannino As New CEO

The leadership speculation at Dow Jones is finally over, at least for now: the company has named its current COO Richard Zannino as its new CEO, replacing Peter Kann, who will remain as chairman until 2007.

Zannino will take over the reins Feb 1…

Also, Karen Elliott House, wife of Kann and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, will retire along with this move. She will stay on to work with Zannino in her current role for a couple of transition months, the company said.

WSJ on DJ: Zannino had been considered a leading candidate to succeed Kann, whose stewardship of the company had been marred by several difficulties, including the ill-fated purchase of a financial data supplier, Telerate, and struggles to revive advertising volume at the Journal. Gordon Crovitz, the head of electronic publishing, also had been seen as a contender for the CEO job, and Ms. House’s name also had been mentioned.

Jon Fine: As such, the big stories written about Dow Jones from here on out will focus even more heavily on one theme: Who will buy Dow Jones?

Jim Cramer: In his crazy predictions in NY Magazine, Cramer says that Murdoch will buy WSJ and Dow Jones this year. “Tthe Dow board will decide to take Rupert Murdoch’s offer of, say, $50–some $20 less than he would have offered five years ago….Murdoch will also give a joyful Roger Ailes the staff he needs to set up a full-blown TV-business-network competitor to CNBC.”