Wall Street Journal Begins Move To New Newsrooom

(The News Corp. Building in mid-town New York will be the new home to the Journal’s newsroom.)
The New York Observer examines the Wall Street Journal’s plans to move into a new newsroom later this week. The Journal will now be located at 1211 Avenue of Americas, the corporate headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The Observer reports:

On Friday, The Journal will move the bulk of its reporting operation to floors four through eight at the building reporters at the newspaper, bought last year by Mr. Murdoch, refer to as the Death Star.

The Observer describes the atmosphere of the old newsroom:

The Journal, until so recently the quiet, stentorian creation of Barney Kilgore, reported in a newsroom with the hush of the library about it by gentleman commuters generally more interested in making it home for dinner than making it to Michael’s for lunch, worried over by editors with a literary bee buzzing around in their fedoras, has been his for a year.

Insiders at the Journal paint a lively picture of the new digs:

“We want it to be the most modern and dynamic media space in the world,” wrote Dow Jones CEO Leslie Hinton in a memo to staff announcing the move last year. “It’s amoeba-like in some ways,” said Mr. Thomson. He was trying to describe the table at the center of the sixth-floor newsroom, where he’ll be sitting along with all of his top lieutenants. “Well, it’s more organic than that,” he continued. “It’s obviously designed in a way that at the very heart of it you can have a conversation between the news wires, the paper, online and Market Watch. It’s difficult to describe because it’s so unprecedented.”

And:

The floors are airy, with lots of sunlight. Editors will have offices with sliding glass doors and colorful chairs opposite their desks—bright, electric red for some, neon green for others. Reporters will be sitting in a wide-open, bullpen-style area with some reporters sitting two to the same long desk.

There is agreement that the move is in large part intended to push a cultural shift, make the newsrooms more active and energetic, make it easier for people to move around, and allow for greater access to Journal reporters who are increasingly being called on to report and create content across platforms:

The old office, with its sprawl of square feet and the premium on privacy for reporters gave off the air of a library more than a newsroom. Mr. Murdoch was not a fan. “He wants a hardscrabble, messy newsroom,” said one reporter. “He always hated the Journal newsroom because it was so quiet, even though people kind of liked it that way. He likes the notion that newsrooms are noisy and chaotic and that there are no divisions between desks—the idea that you’re all standing around and screaming and throwing copy around.”

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