News Corp has named Emma Tucker as the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, the first woman to lead the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper.
Tucker is set to replace Matt Murray, a 30-year veteran of the Journal who led the newsroom through the coronavirus pandemic and oversaw a doubling of online subscriptions during his four-year tenure.
Robert Thomson, chief executive of the WSJ’s parent company News Corp, said Tucker would “bring verve and virtue”.
Tucker started her career as a trainee at the Financial Times and worked her way up to become editor of the FT’s Weekend section. She was most recently editor of the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times, which broke a series of agenda-setting stories under her tenure, including the so-called cash-for-honours scandal.
The change comes as Murdoch is trying to merge News Corp with Fox, a deal that would unite the WSJ with the television company behind Fox News. The boards of both companies have appointed committees of independent directors to evaluate the merger.
The WSJ, alongside other premium publishers such as the New York Times, has over the past decade shifted its business model towards subscriptions as news has moved online. The Journal reached 3.2mn digital subscriptions in the most recent quarter, up from 1.6mn when Murray took on the top editorial job in 2018.
Dow Jones, the division of News Corp that owns the WSJ, has acquired additional specialist titles such as the Investor’s Business Daily and expanded its data businesses. Dow Jones’ underlying profit has increased by more than a quarter since 2018 to $306mn in 2022.
Murray was a popular figure in the newsroom and his departure has caused some unease among reporters, who have long been wary of the Murdochs selecting outsiders to edit the WSJ. Murray was the first editor-in-chief appointed under Murdoch ownership who had spent most of his career as a reporter and editor at the newspaper.
Murray will stay on at the company in a “senior role”, reporting to News Corp chief executive Thomson.
Tucker, who starts in February, said: “As a longtime admirer and reader of the brilliant journalism of The Wall Street Journal, it is my honour to edit this great newspaper.”
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