Former Times editor Robert Thomson is the the editor of the Wall Street Journal. He will fill the dual role of managing editor as well as editor-in-chief of Dow Jones, the News Corp-owned company that publishes the Journal.
Following the announcement last night, the 47-year-old Australian-born newsman said: “I feel privileged”.
He added that he was looking forward to taking up his new top job at the Wall Street Journal with much excitement.
In his new position, he will oversee the news pages of the Wall Street Journal as well as the editorial operation of the Dow Jones News Wires.
His appointment as the replacement for Marcus Brauchili, who unexpectedly gave up the position of editor last month, has been approved by the special committee which was created to oversee the “integrity” of the Wall Street Journal, following its takeover earlier this year by News Corp.
Thomson moved to America to be publisher of the Wall Street Journal after nearly six years at the Times in London.
Previously he was editor of the US edition of the Financial Times, a position he held for four years. Earlier he had worked as a correspondent in China and Japan – a career which Rupert Murdoch described as “outstanding”.
The appointment is seen as a spearhead for many of the changes which Murdoch is planning for the Wall Street Journal, which already includes brighter news stories, shorter features, more news about women and fashion even a smattering of sports coverage. All appear designed to make the paper more competitive to the New York Times.
At the same time it effectively scotches the rumour, which had been circulating on US media websites for some days, that Murdoch was considering inviting Sun editor Rebekah Wade to cross the Atlantic to take the top job at the Journal.