Nov 2 Alan Murray is leaving the Wall Street
Journal to assume the role of president of the Pew Research
Center, effective in January, the center announced on Fr iday.
Murray, 57, is currently the Journal's deputy managing
editor and online executive editor. In his new role he will
oversee the Pew Research Center's seven projects covering topics
ranging from journalism to religion to social trends.
"I have watched in the last 30 years as trusted facts have
become an endangered species," Murray told Reuters in an
As part of the Washington-based Pew Charitable Trusts, the
non-partisan Pew Research Center's mission is to inform the
press, public and policy makers. Murray, in the statement
announcing his appointment, described the Center as a "rock of
reliable information amidst a sea of supposition and spin."
Before the taking the position at the Pew Research Center,
Murray was considered a potential candidate to take the top job
at the Journal, media observers said. His move paves the way for
Deputy Editor Gerard Baker, whose name has also surfaced as a
successor to Managing Editor Robert Thomson.
Thomson is widely considered the front-runner to lead News
Corp's publishing company, which will consist of the
Journal and its sister newspapers such as the Times of London
and The Australian.
Dow Jones and News Corp declined to comment. Murray declined
to comment about a successor to his Journal position. Baker and
Thomson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Murray started with the Journal in 1983 and served in
various positions, including Washington bureau chief. During his
tenure the newspaper won three Pulitzer Prizes.
Known as a thought leader in the industry for digital news,
Murray helped grow and expand the Journal's online operations,
considered to be one of the industry's most successful.
In a note to employees, Thomson said of Murray that "no
words can capture the gratitude I have for his enduring
contribution to the Journal and to journalism."
Murray said he had been talking with the Pew Center since
the summer but that his decision had nothing to do with the
Journal's change of ownership from the Bancroft family to Rupert
Murdoch's News Corp.
"I think Rupert Murdoch and Robert Thomson have saved this
paper," Murray told Reuters.