Dow Jones Committee Condemns News Corp. Handling of Brauchli Resignation

By Rebecca Comment

Add another chapter (and headache for Rupert Murdoch) to the imbroglio surrounding former Wall Street Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli‘s departure: A report published this afternoon on WSJ‘s own site — essentially pitting News Corp. against Dow Jones in a moral mano y mano —asserts that the “special committee established to oversee The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial integrity said its members should have been informed earlier that the newspaper’s managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, had been pressured to resign.” But the damning article alone wasn’t all…

Underscoring the Dow Jones committee’s displeasure at how events surrounding what the report deems Brauchli’s “surprise resignation” unfolded is a “Special Committee’s Statement” formatted like a press release slated to run today and posted to the WSJ site within minutes of the report, laying out the exact timeline of events tied to Brauchli’s departure. Per the report, the committee’s “learning of the Brauchli matter after the fact failed to meet the letter and the spirit of the agreement” between News Corp. and Dow Jones intended to oversee editorial independence and integrity at the paper, as the committee wasn’t apprised of any issues with Brauchli prior to his being approached to resign by News Corp. appointees Robert Thomson, WSJ publisher, and Dow Jones CEO Leslie Hinton.

When called for comment, reporter Steve Stecklow said he couldn’t talk, citing “unbelievable deadline,” while WSJ publisher Robert Thomson declined to comment via a curt note from communications VP Bob Chrystie. More as we ferret it out…

UPDATE: An hour after this post’s initial publication, Robert Christie emailed with a statement from a Dow Jones spokesman: “There is absolutely no suggestion from the Special Committee that the integrity of the Journal‘s reporting or of its reporters has been compromised in any way whatsoever.”