Keach Hagey joins WSJ as media writer Russell Adams becomes an editor

About a month ago, Politico media writer Keach Hagey heard about an opening on the Wall Street Journal’s media desk — a dream job, she thought. Hagey grew up in an Evansville, Indiana, home that got two newspapers — the local publication and the Journal. (The job listing, she says, came to her from WSJ Digital Network managing editor Raju Narisetti.)

Keach Hagey

Hagey interviewed at the paper the first week in March, was offered the job last Thursday afternoon, and gave notice at Politico on Friday. She and her husband then celebrated by going out to dinner.

“There was lots of interest” in the media-beat position, says Journal media team editor Martin Peers. He declines to say how many applied for it.

Hagey, who has been at Politico for not quite two years, replaces Russell Adams at the Journal. He says in a phone interview:

I have been trying for a while to make the transition over to editing, and as part of that effort I did various stints on various editing desks over the last year to get experience and meet the people who run those desks.

Within the last couple of months, an opportunity arose on the markets desk. It finally came together a couple of weeks ago. I was officially offered the job a week ago.

Adams started covering media for the Journal in May 2008, and “for first year or year and a half I focused almost entirely on the collapse of our industry.” When he signed up to cover media, he says, “I didn’t expect the focus to be on what ended up happening.”

Russell Adams

Covering the rival New York Times was interesting too, he says.

“I started out on the beat when things were just getting a little hairy there. The situation became dire enough that they took a loan from Carlos Slim. A lot of my time early on the beat was spent watching and following the Times, and I’ve sort of seen the whole cycle, from people in the media predicting its eventual demise, to them in the last year announcing a new digital strategy, to today’s news” about the success of the digital subscription plan.

What about covering his own paper and Rupert Murdoch?

“That, unfortunately, I can’t get into,” he says (and I’m pretty sure I heard him laugh). “I’m not going to go there.”

* Keach Hagey leaves Politico for Wall Street Journal