Gabriel Sherman has a long piece in TNR today about the Washington Post, the primary purpose of which is to allow Post staffers to vent—about 'Salongate,' inexperienced business executives, entrenched editorial leadership that stunted ambitions, and, most notably, the fact that two WaPo staffers left the paper to start Politico, which is now kicking the WaPo's ass regularly on...Drudgebait:
You remember Marcus Brauchli? First, short-lived editor of the Wall Street Journal under the reign of Rupert Murdoch and now the newly-installed executive editor of the Washington Post? Well, it's a good thing Brauchli finally escaped the Journal, because Paul Gigot and his gang of conservative editorialists must have given him unending grief over his father's awesome left-wing blog! We were just alerted to the existence of the site, but the dad, a lawyer and contributor to sites like Spot-On and Counterpunch, has been at it for some time, posting items steadily since 2005. Officially, Christopher Brauchli's site is about more than Bush — "political commentary and satire," the tagline reads — but, more often than not, the president makes an appearance. And you know what? The site is pretty damn funny! In fact, I'll take Christopher Brauchli's posts over most of the op-ed content in American newspapers, the Post and Journal included. After the jump, a sampling.
The Washington Post tonight named former Wall Street Journal editor Marcus Brauchli its new executive editor, replacing Leonard Downie Jr. after 17 years. The transition comes thanks to a new publisher, Katherine Weymouth, who wants to put her own stamp on the paper. With Brauchli, it will be hard to avoid doing just that. While the Post has remade itself over the past decade as a local paper with a focus on national politics, Brauchli is basically a foreign news reporter who, prior to a replacing Paul Steiger atop the Journal masthead, edited global and national news. Then again, we hear Brauchli is prepared to sacrifice much of what he has accumulated at the Journal to take the Post gig - and not just the wealth of his experience.
The good news for the Wall Street Journal's editors is that the above story was not moved in violation of its embargo — it ran just after midnight, as apparently required by the originating source. As the Silicon Alley Insider notes,that signals the Journal's adherence to a choreographed style of journalism recently-departed managing editor Marcus Brauchli opposed. The bad news: The fact that the story starts with "EMBARGOED!" signals that the Journal's copy editors are stretched quite thin this summer weekend (the LA Times feels your pain, WSJ). [Silicon Alley Insider]
Of all the cliques at the Wall Street Journal, the reporters and editors of the newspaper's Money & Investing team were most inclined to accommodate to the new régime put in place by Rupert Murdoch. They're more financially sophisticated than the average Journal reporter, and less precious; the head of the paper's third section is thought friendly with Murdoch aide Gary Ginsberg, and has even been mentioned as a candidate for managing editor; and Money & Investing is widely regarded as the newsiest part of the Journal, in need of less of a re-education than the self-indulgent feature writers of the main paper and the second section, Marketplace. And that's why this week's disastrous pep talk by the Australian media mogul's key lieutenant, Journal publisher Robert Thomson, is so damaging.
Reporters at News Corp.'s The Wall Street Journal had a story all written and ready to go on the ousting of managing editor Marcus Brauchli, but were forced by Journal higher-ups to sit on it, a source at the paper tells us. That decision resulted in the paper getting scooped on its own news. Granted, covering your own news organization is a tricky business, but you'd think Brauchli would have learned his lesson last year when he held back breaking news regarding News Corp. chair Rupert Murdoch's initial move to take over the paper, and got scooped on the news by CNBC, leading to an investigation.
Reporters at News Corp.'s The Wall Street Journal had a story about the ousting of managing editor Marcus Brauchli all ready to go in advance of his departure, but were ordered by Journal higher-ups to sit on it, according to a source at the paper. That decision, of course, led to the paper getting scooped on its own story. Granted, covering your own news organization is a tricky business. But you'd think they would have learned from making the same wrong move last year when they first got involved with News Corp. chair Rupert Murdoch.
Marcus Brauchli got screwed, as this virtual gift on the outgoing Journal managing editor's Facebook page so aptly depicts. With his departure goes any pretense that Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the business newspaper will be anything but brutal, and Wall Street Journal reporters are already gossiping about the likely casualties. But there will be winners as well as losers; some of them will even be deserving. Our list, after the jump.
The newest reports on Marcus Brauchli's departure from the Wall Street Journal offer a fresh list of slights inflicted on the outgoing managing editor by Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants, beyond that time the News Corp. chairman forgot to call on Brauchli during an introductory speech to Journal staff. Murdoch and his men also kept Brauchli in the dark about Project Eagle, the Journal's British edition, until one week prior to launch, when Brauchli reportedly discovered it at a New Jersey printing plant, deeming it "cartoonish." Brauchli's chosen editor for the paper's new glossy magazine was tossed aside for a Murdoch lieutenant and his vision for it scrapped. And Brauchli's authority was sufficiently undercut that on a recent trip to the San Francisco bureau he began explicitly invoking Murdoch's name to explain some plans for the future, not even making the pretense of broad consensus among top editors. "My view of that situation is, and I'm hard-pressed to think how anyone could think of it differently, is Rupert Murdoch is the editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal," media writer Michael Wolff told the Observer. All the more important, then, to look at new information on where Murdoch wants to take the paper.
"Almost all agree that Robert Thomson, who was named publisher back in December when News Corp., took over the paper, will assume most of the control of the newsroom decisions, but that CEO Rupert Murdoch will need to pick someone from inside the paper to take on the ME slot to keep the reporters and lower-level editors happy... Nik Doegun, the current editor of the Money & Investing section; John Bussey, former foreign editor and now Washington bureau chief; and Alan Murray, executive editor of WSJ Online, were named as candidates to be a new No. 2 person in the newsroom behind Thomson." [Talking Biz News]
The Wall Street Journal's managing editor, who's just resigned, went along with many of News Corporation's plans for the business paper. "It's hard to think he could've jumped much higher," a Journal reporter told Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici. For an explanation of Rupert Murdoch's frenzy of activity, here's the analysis of the motives of the News Corporation boss.
Rupert Murdoch's 78th year has been busy. With the exit of the Wall Street Journal's native managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, the Australian media mogul's lieutenant now has a free hand to turn the business newspaper into a broader national title. We're hearing this afternoon that Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman has dropped out of the bidding for Newsday, clearing the way for Murdoch's News Corporation to take control of a third newspaper in the New York market. And the New York Post is this week shrinking to allow the News Corporation tabloid to be produced on the same presses as the Journal. But here's the question: why the rush? There are three main reasons: newspaper publishing economics; the broader synergies available to a media group with heightened political influence; and mortality.