Change at Wall Street Journal

The Baltimore Sun

NEW YORK - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. named Wall Street Journal publisher Robert Thomson as the newspaper's managing editor yesterday, succeeding Marcus Brauchli.

Thomson's appointment was approved by a special committee created to oversee the Journal's editorial integrity, New York- based News Corp. said in a statement.

Murdoch is remaking The Wall Street Journal, the second- largest U.S. newspaper based on daily circulation, to emphasize more general news and compete with the New York Times. He brought Thomson, 47, from the Times of London to be publisher of the Journal in December, shortly after taking control of Dow Jones in a $5.2 billion acquisition.

Class A shares of News Corp. fell 17 cents to $19.09 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have declined 6.8 percent this year.

Brauchli, 46, resigned in April, four months after the acquisition, saying he wanted to make room for Murdoch to pick the newsroom's next leader.

The special committee that oversees editorial independence at Dow Jones said later that it should have been given advance notice of the resignation, which Brauchli had worked out directly with his bosses.

Les Hinton, Dow Jones' chief executive officer, acknowledged the panel's concerns and said the company would consult its members in the future.

"In hindsight, we recognize it would have more been appropriate to have advised the committee in advance of reaching an agreement with Mr. Brauchli," he said in the statement. "We have apologized to the committee members."

News Corp. spokeswoman Teri Everett said the company and Thomson declined to comment beyond the statement.

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