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Friday, September 17, 2021

Louise Story, a top editor at The Wall Street Journal, is leaving.


Louise Story, who oversaw The Wall Street Journal’s digital strategy and technology, has decided to leave the paper after less than three years.

Matt Murray, the editor in chief, announced her departure in an email to the staff on Tuesday, which The New York Times obtained.

“I’m grateful to Louise and will miss her strong work ethic, strategic mind, commitment to high-quality journalism, keen news judgement, and unique ability to connect text, video and audio, product, design, engineering, and audiences,” Mr. Murray wrote in the note.

Ms. Story, a veteran journalist who joined The Journal as one of the most senior women in its newsroom after a decade at The New York Times, had become embroiled in a power struggle between Mr. Murray and the newly appointed publisher, Almar Latour. Mr. Murray hired Ms. Story with the intention of modernising the Journal for the digital age, but Mr. Latour had his own ideas.

Ms. Story assembled a large team that assessed the newsroom’s operations over the course of a year, resulting in a 209-page report called The Content Review. It was more than just an audit; it made broad recommendations about how the paper should function.

It stated that “over the last five years, we have had six quarters where we lost more subscribers than we gained,” and that addressing the paper’s slow-growing audience would necessitate significant changes in everything from social media strategy to which subjects were deemed newsworthy.

The report argued that the paper should focus more on topics such as climate change and income inequality to attract new readers, particularly women, people of colour, and younger professionals. “We also strongly recommend putting muscle behind efforts to feature more women and people of colour in all of our stories,” it says.

However, the report was never officially shared with the newsroom, and only a portion of it was implemented.

“Louise has played a critical role in advancing our digital transformation and broadening the reach and impact of our journalism,” Mr. Murray wrote in a note on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal did not respond right away to a request for comment.

“It’s been an honour editing your journalism, developing strategies and tactics with you to make our work more impactful, and building new teams here that are helping the WSJ grow,” Ms. Story wrote in her farewell note to the staff.

She said she would be working on a book.


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