Rupe-Date: Musical Chairs, Union Trouble at the WSJ

murdoch_060407.jpgSo it’s time for the latest in everyone’s favorite neverending media buyout saga: Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal.

The big news is the editorial shakeup at the WSJ. Online managing editor Bill Grueskin has been promoted to deputy managing editor for news. Alan Murray has been named online executive editor, Mike Miller is being moved from Page One editor to deputy managing editor for enterprise journalism and will be replaced by Mike Williams. Senior deputy managing editor Dan Hertzberg is moving from the paper’s New York office to Europe as the WSJ‘s new senior deputy managing editor. National news editor Laurie Hays is now the new deputy managing editor for projects.

Meanwhile, there’s a new memo from Dow Jones union the International Association of Publishers Employees that boils down to the following: They really, really think Murdoch owning the WSJ is a bad idea. As in, it will cost WSJ employees jobs and threaten Dow Jones’ ability to “produce content of unquestioned quality.”

But the changes at the WSJ are the big news here — especially Grueskin’s move to deputy managing editor and Hertzberg’s move to an overseas position. Hertzberg is an old-school breaking-news type who has been a powerful presence in the WSJ newsroom with a controversial reputation among employees.

Grueskin’s biggest accomplishments at the WSJ have been launching the newspaper’s blogs, podcasts and original video content: His move to the news desk is a left-field one that signals a new approach at the WSJ, which was extremely new media-averse just a few short years ago (and still is, with their extensive paywalls). Now all we need to know is why it was specifically mentioned in the WSJ‘s press release that Alix Freedman and Nik Deogun are keeping their jobs.

Meanwhile, the Bancrofts were busy last night prepping a series of proposals to send to Murdoch involving the wrangling editorial control — something Rupe initially said he wasn’t comfortable with.

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