Lex Fenwick had joined News Corp’s Dow Jones & Co in February 2012 coming from a long run at Bloomberg Llp. He will be replaced on an interim basis by News Corp COO William Lewis while the company reviews its institutional strategy, according to a News Corp release announcing the shift. Fenwick had overseen Dow Jones’ DJX information service, which has been in beta since its launch last year. “We’re reviewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its customers. As part of that, we’re planning improvements to DJX,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, who also signaled greater flexibility in Dow Jones’ product offerings is likely in the works soon. Lewis, meanwhile, joined News Corp in 2010 as Group General Manager at News International (now News UK), and was appointed COO at News Corp last year. The one-time Sunday Times and Financial Times journalist will help with the review while the search for permanent replacement is completed.
UPDATED: This has been a long-rumored possibility for the tech blog started in 2007 and run by co-executive editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Fortune first reported that the separation would come at year’s end, when the current partnership agreement expires. News Corp subsidiary Dow Jones would keep the AllThingsD brand and Mossberg will leave behind his Wall Street Journal tech column after being at the paper forever, fellow Dow Jones property WSJ reports. Fortune says potential new investors include NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, Conde Nast, Cox and The Washington Post, which was just acquired by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, a regular on AllThingsD’s digital pages. It also says a formal announcement from AllThingsD is expected later today, so stay tuned. Dow Jones editor-in-chief and WSJ managing editor Gerard Baker said the paper is expanding its technology coverage and conference franchise overseas, and the plan is to build a new digital home for tech coverage “including the addition of 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors and reporters covering digital”.
NEW YORK– News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; Temp. ASX tickers: NNC, NNCLV) announced today that it has sold the Dow Jones Local Media Group, which operates 33 publications, including 8 daily and 15 weekly newspapers, to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC.
The Dow Jones Local Media Group daily newspaper franchises include the Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.); Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.); The Record (Stockton, Calif.); The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.); The Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Penn.); The Herald (Portsmouth, N.H.); The Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.), and The Daily Tidings (Ashland, Ore.). In addition to daily and weekly newspapers, the Dow Jones Local Media Group operates other print and online community media, including web sites, magazines as well as news and advertising niche publications.
Some of the nation’s largest media companies were simultaneously hit with patent lawsuits over cloud technology this week. In virtually identically worded complaints against Time Warner’s CNN Interactive and Time, News Corp’s Fox News and Dow Jones — plus The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today owners Gannett and AOL’s the Huffington Post (read CNN complaint here) — patent owner Clouding claims the organizations are infringing two of their patents on mobile phone apps and websites.
This is a story that the Wall Street Journal had better have right: The paper reports this morning that its managing editor, Robert Thomson, will become CEO of the still-unnamed publishing company that News Corp will create next year in a spin off. Next week the company plans to announce Thomson’s appointment and the elevation of his deputy, Gerard Baker, to replace him as managing editor of the Journal, the paper says citing “people familiar with the matter.” The company also may announce other senior appointments and board members, as well as a name for the publishing company, but final decisions haven’t been made. CEO Rupert Murdoch said in October that he would announce the leadership plans by year-end.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – February 2, 2012 – News Corporation today named Lex Fenwick Chief Executive Officer of Dow Jones & Company. Mr. Fenwick joins Dow Jones from Bloomberg LP, where he spent 25 years, most recently as CEO of Bloomberg Ventures. He will be based in New York and report to Chase Carey, President and COO of News Corporation. His appointment is effective February 13, 2012. He succeeds Les Hinton, who left the Company in July.
“Lex has been a driving force in the financial news and information industry for more than two decades,” commented Mr. Carey. “His aggressive and bold leadership will be invaluable to Dow Jones at a time when digital technologies are making information ever more important. We have a great opportunity to build enormous value around Dow Jones’ unique expertise and franchises.
UPDATE, 2 PM: The market deteriorated as the day wore on, continuing the worst market slump since 2008. The Dow Jones U.S. Broadcasting and Entertainment Index closed down 7.3% — exceeding the 5.6% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 6.7% drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500, and 6.9% fall at NASDAQ. CBS’ -10.3% slide made it the leading loser among media’s Big Guns. It was followed by News Corp (-7.7%), Viacom (-7.1%), Comcast (-6.6%), Sony (-6.4%), Disney (-6.1%), and Time Warner (-5.8%).
Double-digit losers include AMC Networks (-12.8%), LIN TV (-12.7%), Sirius XM (-12.7%), RealD (-12.6%), Cumulus Media (-11.9%), TiVo (-11.4%), Entercom (-10.9%), Westwood One (-10.8%), and E.W. Scripps (-10.3%). Those losing at least 9% include National CineMedia, Dish Network, Arbitron, Sinclair Broadcasting, Rovi, Outdoor Channel, Crown Media, Electronic Arts, Cablevision, and Coinstar.