Thomson Reuters overhauls news management team

NEW YORK Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:48pm EDT

1 of 9. Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler (3rd R) sits with Jim Gaines (L) Ethics, Standards and Innovation Editor, Chrystia Freeland (2nd L), Editor, Thomson Reuters Digital, Paul Ingrassia (3rd L), Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Stuart Karle (2nd R), Chief Operating Officer and Reginald Chua (R) during a meeting with staff members at the Thomson Reuters head office in New York, April 19, 2011. Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen 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.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn

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 on 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 (NWSA.O) 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 (TWX.N) 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.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba and Kenneth Li; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Ted Kerr)

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Comments (5)
1WorldDone wrote:
Please don’t change your news style!

Reuters is one of the last unbiased, trustworthy news sources!

I’m so sick of seeing so many other news companies becoming blatantly polarized pushing their own agendas instead of just reporting the news, ALL the news, left or right, good or bad!

Apr 19, 2011 11:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
scarr34 wrote:
The Reuters website needs more news and less opinion. The site also needs to differentiate between news and opinion more clearly.

Apr 19, 2011 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ginchinchili wrote:
Seeing Reuters run by a bunch of former WSJ alumni is disheartening. How can we possibly expect to get unbiased news when news companies’ top priority is to sell?

If, for example, we see that FOX News is dominating ratings among news broadcasts because they are gearing what they report to appeal to conservatives, what will prevent a news publisher from doing the same?

A recent survey demonstrated that people who got their news primarily from FOX News were, on average, less informed than people who got their news from other sources. But their ratings remain strong. From a business perspective–and these are businesses we’re talking about–ratings are more important than information accuracy.

This is why, for example, 6 months into the Iraq War a majority of the country thought we were going after Saddam Hussein because he was behind the 9/11 attacks. This is why so few Americans realize how much more the US spends on defense than any other country; or that the US has a wider disparity of wealth than any other developed country, resembling a banana republic rather than other industrialized nations; or that the US is the only country among developed countries that refuses to offer its citizens government-subsidized healthcare while still having the most expensive, most inefficient healthcare program in the world, by far.

This rightwing contagion that the US has been hit by is corroding every aspect of American life. What worked for America for the past 235 years is no longer effective because we depended on man’s better nature and money wasn’t the top and only priority.

This can’t be leading to anything good. How can the citizens of this democracy possibly make the best decisions affecting our country and its future if we don’t have a clear grasp of the most basic and essential facts? There are more Americans who believe that Obama wasn’t born in the US than people who understand that wealthy Americans paid an income tax rate of over 80% during America’s “Greatest Generation”. Arizona recently passed a bill requiring presidential candidates to “prove” they are American born citizens. After 43 presidents this was never an issue. Our first black president and suddenly, there’s something about him that looks suspicious, that looks unAmerican. It’s racism, pure and simple, and because of it Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican presidential polls. Americans lack perspective and it’s clearly by design.

Apr 19, 2011 2:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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