Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Bureau, Cuts 9 Reporters

The Wall Street Journal says it will close its Boston news operation amid declining ad revenue for the newspaper.

The Journal’s shop in Boston focuses its reporting on the mutual fund industry and the education sector. Nine people, mostly veterans, will lose their jobs.

In a memo to employees Thursday, Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson said the newspaper remains "in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue."

Unaffected is the paper's three-person investigative reporting unit, which won a Pulitzer Prize two years ago for exposing stock options backdating.

Keith Winstein joined the newsroom right after that data-mining journalism. "To start with mathematics and end up putting people in jail, I mean that’s exciting," Winstein said.

Winstein and the others who lost their jobs can apply for openings elsewhere at the paper.

Thomson said the Journal's Money and Investing team will cover the Boston mutual fund industry, while the New York-based education team will be enhanced to absorb coverage of Boston-area universities.

The closure of the Boston bureau marks the second round of cuts at the newspaper this year. The Journal, owned by News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Co., cut about two dozen reporting and editing jobs in February, shutting its New York-based fashion and retail group and eliminating a handful of other positions.

Thomson said there are no plans to close other bureaus.

Media watchers say Boston has become a less important bureau for The Journal, because the Hub is not home to giant companies that can move the markets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on October 29, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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Curt Nickisch Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.



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