Patience Wheatcroft to head Wall Street Journal Europe

The Financial Times looks set to have new competition from a beefed up Wall Street Journal Europe - with the appointment of Patience Wheatcroft as editor-in-chief.

Business journalism veteran Wheatcroft was City editor of The Times from 1997 to 2005 before spending just over a year as editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal revealed today that Wheatcroft will take a lead role in the WSJE's expansion, particularly involving the growth of digital content.

She will be based in London, reporting to managing editor Robert Thomson, and from next month will oversee the creation of a new integrated London newsroom, with many Journal editorial staff relocating from Brussels.

Thomson said: "The time has come for the Journal to take on the European market, in print and online.

"We have a world-class reporting presence in Europe and an unrivalled international business news franchise.

"The combination of these assets and Patience's extensive experience in media and business will make the Journal a formidable force in Europe."

Wheatcroft said: "I'm thrilled to be joining the world's finest business newspaper, and to help lead the charge in Europe.

"I'm particularly excited about the additional strengths an integrated London newsroom will bring to what is already a phenomenal brand."

Wheatcroft was launch editor of Retail Week from 1987 for five years and from 1994-97 was deputy City editor of the Mail on Sunday.

The Journal lauched a dedicated European website earlier this year edited by Neil McIntosh.

WSJE publisher Andrew Langhoff said: "The appointment of Patience as our new editor for Europe is a sure sign of our long-term commitment to the European market, and a significant investment for future growth.

"It marks a fresh new start in Europe as we work smarter to target new readers, develop additional attractive advertising opportunities, and create content that speaks directly to our audience."

The tabloid European edition of the Wall Street Journal has so far failed to come anywhere near the success of the two-million-a-day selling edition in the US.

The FT currently sells 119,526 in the UK and Eire and a further 112,897 copies of its Europe edition.

The Wall Street Journal Europe currently has an average daily circulation of just 78,230 - of which 52,518 are bulk giveaways. Its daily UK circulation is 16,468.

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