Thomson Reuters overhauls news management team

NEW YORK Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:39pm EDT

A man walks near a Thomson Reuters logo at the Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf in east London May 7, 2009.

A man walks near a Thomson Reuters logo at the Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf in east London May 7, 2009.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp named Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and former Dow Jones Newswires President Paul Ingrassia to the new position of deputy editor-in-chief, one of four new hires brought in to overhaul its news operations.

The appointments were announced Tuesday after a 60-day review by Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler, who aims to raise the profile of the 160-year-old news agency, streamline decision-making, and better exploit the resources of the company created by the $16 billion takeover of Reuters by Thomson in 2008.

Adler, who took the top journalist job at Reuters in February, unveiled a new management team consisting almost entirely of new faces, including a number of alumni of the Wall Street Journal.

Ingrassia was once a contender to run the Journal, before Rupert Murdoch's News Corp acquired the paper and its parent Dow Jones. Adler himself worked at the Journal for 16 years, during which he led reporters to win three Pulitzer prizes, the highest honor in American journalism.

Stuart Karle, the Journal's former general counsel, will also join Thomson Reuters as the news division's chief operating officer, a new position.

Reginald Chua, former editor of the South China Morning Post and the Asian Wall Street Journal, will become data editor.

Jim Gaines, a long-time editor at Time Warner's Time Inc, will leave his job as managing editor of The Daily, Murdoch's digital paper for tablet computers, to join Thomson Reuters as ethics editor.

"We must be second to none in speed, accuracy, relevance, and fairness, but also - and crucially - in enterprise, insight, analysis and originality," Adler said in a news release.

INVESTING HEAVILY

Thomson Reuters, along with rivals such as Bloomberg LP, and Dow Jones, have invested heavily in news gathering and analysis in recent years, as newspapers and other traditional media organizations cut back.

Competing more effectively requires eliminating layers of bureaucracy to streamline decision-making, Adler said.

Under the new structure, journalism to be led by Ingrassia will be separated from operations, such as managing budgets, which will be overseen by Karle.

"News is central to what we do," Adler said in his Times Square office, seated near a white board with 60 days crossed out with slashes to signify the end of his initial global review. "I think this structure enables us to concentrate on doing great journalism."

As part of Adler's effort to "tame the bureaucracy and clarify lines of authority," the reorganization eliminates roles such as the global specialist editors who oversaw coverage of areas such as general and political news, and economic and companies reporting.

Betty Wong, a 21-year veteran and global managing editor, will leave Thomson Reuters.

The new hires are part of a New York-based executive team that also includes Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital, who joined the company last year from the Financial Times; Amy Stevens, executive editor of Professional News, who was deputy page-one editor of the Journal; and Adrian Dickson, global editor for editorial products. Hugo Dixon continues as editor of Breakingviews and will remain in London.

Adler joined Thomson Reuters in 2010 after leaving the top job at BusinessWeek magazine.

"My sole goal will be to make us the number one news provider in the world," Adler wrote in a memo to employees.

"I'm in favor of anything that helps get us there and against anything that gets in the way."

On the white board next to Adler's desk, Tuesday is marked as day zero.

(Editing by Tiffany Wu and Ted Kerr)

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