It is official: The publisher of Wall Street Journal Gordon Crovitz (and a good friend of ours) will be leaving Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) after the acquisition closes next week. Crovitz, before being appointed the publisher of WSJ, was president of the Electronic Publishing Group where he oversaw the launch and development of three of DJ’s digital businesses — WSJ.com, Factiva and Dow Jones Indexes. As we mentioned last night, he will continue a column in WSJ on the Information Age, the memo below says.
He will be replaced by Robert Thomson, (NYSE: TOC) currently editor of The Times of London.
Crovitz’s memo to colleagues:
I wanted to give you some additional background on changes relating to the acquisition of Dow Jones. Executives from News Corp. will take on key management roles once the transaction occurs. As a result, I will step down as publisher of The Wall Street Journal and leave Dow Jones management, with my last day in my current office being the date of closing. More after the jump…
I am gratified by what we have achieved together. We set out to integrate our brands and journalism across print, online and other digital channels. We now lead the media industry with a fully integrated structure, making The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and our other leading franchises more valuable to readers and advertisers.
This integration across news, marketing, advertising, technology, operations and other departments, which we started last year, resulted in significant improvements in financial performance: The Wall Street Journal and the broader Consumer Media Group are both strongly profitable this year, after both losing money in 2005.
The future of great journalistic enterprises is bright for those who can see and seize the opportunities ahead. The Wall Street Journal franchise has never been more vibrant. The print Journal was redesigned early this year as the first newspaper rethought for how people get their news in this Digital Age. The results include an industry-leading seven straight quarters of increases in circulation revenue. WSJ.com now serves 10 million readers, including more than one million paid subscribers; indeed, WSJ.com has as many paid online subscribers as there are paid readers of the print New York Times. Advertising increasingly is delivered across the more than 20 million consumers that Dow Jones reaches across media and brands, boosting our share of advertising revenues. The staffs of the Journal news and editorial pages have continued to grow, delivering the best in business news, analysis and opinion, serving readers however, whenever and wherever they need our journalism.
I am delighted that the Factiva joint venture we created a decade ago is now the leader in its industry and a key part of Dow Jones. The acquisition of MarketWatch added millions of new online consumers and helped fuel our dramatic growth in online profits. The acquisitions of Private Equity Analyst, VentureWire, VentureSource and eFinancial News added new audiences and highly successful businesses.
I am fortunate to have had a diverse career at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, over the course of 25 years, and look forward to continuing my affiliation by contributing a column to the Journal on the Information Age. I am even more fortunate to have had the chance to work with literally thousands of you as colleagues. There is no stronger team in publishing, and I wish you and your new News Corp. colleagues all the best as this next chapter begins.