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New York (AFP) – The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday named veteran journalist Matt Murray as its editor-in-chief, replacing Gerard Baker — who oversaw a tumultuous period as the business daily shifted its focus to digital.
Murray, who assumes the new role next Monday, has been deputy editor-in-chief since 2013 and was a deputy managing editor from 2008.
He has been with Dow Jones, the unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which operates the Journal, since 1994.
Baker, a former journalist with the BBC, Financial Times and The Times of London who joined the US daily in 2009, will take on a new role as editor-at-large that includes regular writing, hosting conferences and presenting a segment on Fox Business Network.
Under Baker, the Journal has boosted its digital subscribers to nearly 1.5 million as the sector shifts away from print toward digital.
But his tenure has also been marked by a series of cuts and buyouts, discontent in the newsroom, and criticism in some quarters that the newspaper’s coverage of President Donald Trump has not been aggressive enough.
Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said Baker “has been a very successful editor at a time when journalism has been digitally challenged” and called Murray “a worthy successor,” adding that “his strong reporting and editing background and his passion for the Journal are obvious to all who have the privilege of working with him.”
Murray was quoted as saying in the statement: “Every day, we set out to ensure that we are the most trusted source of news and information.”
Rupert Murdoch bought the Journal in 2007 for $5 billion and made it part of his News Corp group that includes newspapers in Britain and Australia.
In 2013, the media-entertainment group 21st Century Fox was spun off as a separate entity which remains in control of the Murdoch family.
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