WSJ memo: We’re creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication

I’m told that the note below from Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson — sent out shortly after noon today — is being described in the newsroom as “the layoffs memo.” In it, Thomson writes:

We must now begin a new phase of integration, creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication and puts extra emphasis on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting. The aim is to fashion an editorial engine that will drive content for all of our platforms, from the print Journal to a real real-time news service and customized digital feeds for specialist readers. For that strategy to be successful, total integration must be our imperative, not to cut costs (though spending, like imbibing, should always be done in moderation), but to make the most of our peerless journalism.

THE MEMO:

From: Thomson, Robert
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 12:09 PM
To: Newswires_USERS; WSJ All News Staff
Subject: editorial epoch

Dear All,

We have journeyed far together over the past few years, having become the best-selling newspaper in the US, created a global digital platform with more than 60 million different readers each month, and revived Newswires with DJFX Trader, among many, many other accomplishments. Journal and Newswire journalists now frequently share a common space, architecturally and culturally, and have a far clearer sense of shared purpose in an era in which many news organizations are dazed and confused.

Robert Thomson

Our journey is far from over and we must now begin a new phase of integration, creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication and puts extra emphasis on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting. The aim is to fashion an editorial engine that will drive content for all of our platforms, from the print Journal to a real real-time news service and customized digital feeds for specialist readers. For that strategy to be successful, total integration must be our imperative, not to cut costs (though spending, like imbibing, should always be done in moderation), but to make the most of our peerless journalism.

We will be mobilizing joint journalistic teams around particular subjects with a view to dominating those areas, generating more scoops, moving more markets and providing extra time for textured reporting. A team of senior editors will be reaching out to many of you in coming days to solicit opinions and elicit ideas. We will then distil your wisdom (and discard my preconceptions) and move quickly to form new reporting and editing teams to take advantage of the manifold opportunities that await the world’s classiest journalists and the globe’s pre-eminent news organization.

Robert.

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