Wall Street Journal will close Boston bureau
The Wall Street Journal is closing its Boston bureau by the end of the year, officials told employees today in a memo.
The bureau, which is in downtown Boston, has 12 reporters and editors. The bureau, which has won two Pulitzers in the last five years, will close Dec. 31, said Bob Christie, a spokesman for the Journal.
Nine employees will be laid off and three will stay with the company, Christie said. No other bureaus will be closed. The laid off employees will be able to apply for other jobs within the paper.
In a memo to employees today, managing editor Robert Thomson wrote: “The economic background to the closure is painfully obvious to us all."
The investigative team, which includes two employees, will remain in Boston. Coverage of the Boston mutual fund industry will switch to the Money and Investing team. And the Journal will create an enhanced New York-based education team.
The news comes after the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported earlier this week that the Wall Street Journal had surpassed USA Today as the country’s largest newspaper. The Wall Street Journal, owned by News Corp, added 0.6 percent to its daily weekday circulation to 2,024,269 copies in the six months ending in September.
It was the only newspaper of the top five US papers that gained circulation.
Today we told our team in Boston that we are closing the bureau in its present form. The economic background to the closure is painfully obvious to us all. An investigative function will remain in Boston, but the core reporting team will be disbanded, though all nine reporters affected will certainly be able to apply for openings elsewhere on the paper. Coverage of the Boston mutual fund industry will switch to the Money and Investing team and we are creating an enhanced New York-based education team.
Any such decision inevitably stirs apprehension and uncertainty, but there are no plans, nascent or otherwise, to close any other US or international bureau. Meanwhile, the Newswires bureau and the MarketWatch team in Boston will remain at their present staffing levels.
That there has been truly great reporting under the generalship of Gary Putka out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.