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Reuters’ Adler To Run Streamlined Reuters News; Schlesinger Headed To China

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A little over a year after joining Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) as SVP and editorial director of the news service’s Professional division, ex-BusinessWeek editor Stephen J. Adler will now run the unified Reuters News unit. Adler has also been named to the newly created position of EVP, News, overseeing the entire company’s news strategy and operations. He succeeds David Schlesinger, who after four years as EIC of Reuters News will become chairman of Thomson Reuters China.

In an interview with paidContent, Adler, who was one of the first executive staffers to resign from BusinessWeek following the sale of the magazine from McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP) to Bloomberg LLC over a year ago, described his new role as a natural outgrowth of the company’s plans to make full use of both its extensive data and 3,000 reporters.

The move brings in the resources and editorial staff of the Professional division, which covers Legal, Tax & Accounting, and Healthcare & Science businesses. Individually, each of those businesses brings in at least $1 billion annually on its own — legal is worth more than $3.5 billion. Adler will be charged with finding new ways of using the assets that division possesses and combining it with the work of the general reporting staff.

For example, the Professional division has a database of over 30 million pieces of information. By combing that data, Reuters’ Enterprise division, for instance, could decide to do a series of stories based on that in-house information, such as what kind of drugs to consumers take the most and what happens to usage when prices rise? Adler will also be able to tap the Breakingviews commentary property to produce opinion items driven by its data.

While Reuters always had the power to do these kinds of things before, the promise of Adler’s role is that you have one person directing these efforts in a formal way.

Adler will report jointly to Devin Wenig, the head of the Markets division, and Jim Smith, who runs the Professional division.

In the case of Schlesinger, the move highlights the greater importance of Asia in general, and China in particular, to financial news organizations and media companies as a source of growing subscriptions and revenues.