Following a recent newsroom reorganization, Wall Street Journal editor in chief Gerry Butler announced via memos and staff meetings that the paper is rapidly shifting towards a digital and mobile first model. In this shift, he says the current headcount would remain roughly stable. He used some rather interesting metaphors like the gem below to explain where the paper is today and where it needs to go:
“Our news operations have been somewhat like an elegant and rather gorgeous stately home, whose owners have steadily augmented and renovated, rewiring every now and then, adding a new plumbing system, repainting, refurbishing. But eventually it’s time to tear down the old structure and build a new one.”
Like its counterpart the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal is feverishly working to adapt to the ever growing digital first media industry where more and more readers are moving all their news and information consumption off of print pages into the palm of their hands via smartphones and other mobile media devices. Such moves unfortunately always leads to the dismissal of those employees namely editors and writers rooted in the print side of the business. Legacy media brands like the Journal New York Times and magazine publishers like Time Inc and Conde Nast have been disrupted by digital first media giants like Vice, Buzzfeed, Vox, Ozy and others. Now they’re all trying to play catch up. Time Inc is even toying with a possible name change to get away from its print history even though the majority of its revenue still comes from its print business.