Inside the Fight for the Future of The Wall Street Journal

In July, Mr. Murray acquired a draft from Ms. Story’s group, a 209-page blueprint on how The Journal ought to remake itself known as The Content Review. It famous that “in the past five years, we have had six quarters where we lost more subscribers than we gained,” and mentioned addressing its slow-growing viewers known as for vital modifications in every part from the paper’s social media technique to the topics it deemed newsworthy.

The report argued that the paper ought to appeal to new readers — particularly, ladies, individuals of coloration and youthful professionals — by focusing extra on matters similar to local weather change and earnings inequality. Among its solutions: “We also strongly recommend putting muscle behind efforts to feature more women and people of color in all of our stories.”

The Content Review has not been formally shared with the newsroom and its suggestions haven’t been put in force, however it’s influencing how individuals work: An deadlock over the report has led to a divided newsroom, in response to interviews with 25 present and former employees members. The firm, they are saying, has prevented making the proposed modifications as a result of a brewing energy battle between Mr. Murray and the new writer, Almar Latour, has contributed to a stalemate that threatens the future of The Journal.

Mr. Murray and Mr. Latour, 50, symbolize two extremes of the mannequin Murdoch worker. Mr. Murray is the tactful editor; Mr. Latour is the brash entrepreneur. The two rose inside the group at roughly the identical time. When the second got here to switch Gerry Baker as the high editor in 2018, each had been seen as contenders.

The two males have by no means gotten alongside, in response to individuals with data of the matter. Or as an govt who is aware of each properly put it, “They hate each other.” The digital technique report has solely heightened the pressure of their relationship — and, with it, the path of the crown jewel in the Murdoch information empire.

Their longstanding skilled rivalry comes right down to each character and method. Mr. Murray is extra deliberative, whereas Mr. Latour is fast to behave. But the core of their friction continues to be a thriller, in response to individuals accustomed to them.

Dow Jones, in an announcement, disputed that characterization, saying there was no friction between the editor and writer. It additionally cited “record profits and record subscriptions,” which it attributed to “the wisdom of its current strategy.” Both Mr. Murray and Mr. Latour declined to be interviewed for this text.

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