Dow Jones shakes up management in reorg

Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:04am IST

The Dow Jones news ticker is seen above Times Square in New York, July 31, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Dow Jones news ticker is seen above Times Square in New York, July 31, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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(Reuters) - Dow Jones & Co Chief Executive Lex Fenwick shook up the News Corp unit's management on Tuesday with a series of executive appointments and departures including the resignation of President Todd Larsen.

Fenwick, a former Bloomberg LP executive, is making his first high profile move since taking the job in February.

News Corp tapped Fenwick with hopes that he could bring his expertise in financial market services to Dow Jones' suite of financial data products, including its Newswires, DJ FX Trade, Factiva and VentureSource database. The company also publishes the Wall Street Journal, Barron's and MarketWatch.

The new structure reflects a tighter integration of Dow Jones' different products aimed at consumers, such as the Journal, and enterprises that subscribe to its data and information.

"Too many media companies perceive this era as a time of threat - we at Dow Jones should see it as a time of extraordinary opportunity," Fenwick wrote in an internal memo to employees obtained by Reuters.

"We should all be proud of the company's history and be acutely aware of what more we can and must achieve. Good luck."

As part of the reorganization, Alisa Bowen, formerly general manager of the Wall Street Journal digital network, has been named head of products for Dow Jones. She will oversee both the company's consumer and enterprise units.

Joe Lanza, president of Financial Markets, will take on a newly created role as head of the company's Data Strategy unit.

Both Bowen and Lanza will report to Fenwick.

Larsen, who will resign after more than a decade at Dow Jones, steered the company after CEO Les Hinton, a longtime associate of News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, left in July 2011 as a phone hacking scandal enveloped its newspapers in Britain.

Larsen reported to News Corp President Chase Carey until Fenwick was appointed Dow Jones CEO in February. Larsen was also in the running for the CEO job, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time of Hinton's departure.

The company did not give any details of Larsen's plans. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Larsen started with Dow Jones in 1999 as corporate director of strategic planning and development and worked his way up, including oversight of the Journal's online business.

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first newspapers to charge readers for access to online content.

When News Corp bought Dow Jones in 2007, Murdoch considered making the Wall Street Journal's website free. Larsen was instrumental in arguing in favor of a paid online model, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Many newspapers have started to charge for online content as advertisers flee print editions.

Executives leaving the company include Scott Schulman, president of Dow Jones Corporate Markets; Lynne Brennen, senior vice president of circulation; and Bethany Sherman, senior vice president and chief communications officer.

Dow Jones is a competitor to Thomson Reuters Corp.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba; editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Jeffrey Benkoe and Richard Chang)

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