The Times profile of Rupert Murdoch's man at the Wall Street Journal, Robert Thomson, reinforces much of what was already known about the newsroom leader. He is good friends with the News Corp. chairman, charming to coworkers, a proven news chief and has responsibilities at the Journal that have long outstripped his title of "publisher." But the Times story adds new information that makes it sound like Thomson will play good cop to Murdoch's bad cop:

...he is loyal, almost to a fault. One reporter said he "can't say no." And many former colleagues say he is not the type of manager who is capable of easily firing workers.

In fact, the prevailing theory as to why he never became the editor of The Financial Times is because the paper needed to trim its ranks after a hiring boom during the dot-com days, and Mr. Thomson was not seen as the right person to do that.

And already at the Journal, the Times reports, Thomson has announced an investment of $6 million per year for four additional pages of international news.