Wall Street Journal: Major Editorial Shuffle

More moves at the top at the Wall Street Journal. In two memos to the staff, editor Robert Thomson announces that Deputy Managing Editor Laurie Hays is leaving the paper. He then announces the creation of a "central news desk" helmed by three new Deputy Managing Editors: Matt Murray, Mike Williams, and Nikhil Deogun. In a face-saving move, ethics editor Alix Freedman "will have expanded authority as a defender of the paper's ethical and journalistic standards," rather than being axed. Left up the air: the future of DC bureau chief John Bussey, who had been rumored to under consideration for a promotion. Full memos after the jump.

Dear All,

Laurie Hays, Deputy Managing Editor, has decided to leave the Journal after almost 23 years to pursue another career opportunity. Laurie has made a remarkable contribution to the paper, driving award-winning stories and setting the news agenda. We appreciate her outstanding contributions to the Journal and wish her every success in the interesting challenges that surely await,

Robert.

Dear All,

I am pleased to announce significant changes to the editorial leadership of The Wall Street Journal, changes which will expedite decision-making and give increased authority and responsibility to reporters and bureau chiefs. These changes will take place in tandem with the creation of a central news desk that will allow significantly enhanced co-operation between print, web and Newswires journalists, in New York and around the world.

At the heart of our new structure will be a National, International and Enterprise Team, a triumvirate which will report directly to me and to whom the bureau chiefs will report. Effective July 7, Matt Murray will become National Editor, overseeing American general and corporate news, and Nikhil Deogun will become International Editor and directly oversee our global network of bureaus and correspondents. Mike Williams will preside over a broadened Page One, being responsible for investigative reporting, as well A-heds and leders. The troika, who will become Deputy Managing Editors, will sit close together in what could prosaically be called a 'news hub', thus streamlining commissioning and editing decisions, and giving them a central role in the production and presentation of copy for the paper and the website.

Mike Miller, who continues to oversee the Journal's features sections, is to be Senior Deputy Managing Editor and will be responsible for editing the paper if I am otherwise engaged. Cathy Panagoulias becomes a Deputy Managing Editor and will take a greater role in providing administrative support for bureau chiefs and in hiring decisions. Jim Pensiero is to be Deputy Managing Editor for operations, and is masterminding our move to Midtown and the introduction of a new publishing system. Alix Freedman will have expanded authority as a defender of the paper's ethical and journalistic standards. Alan Murray will remain as Executive Editor of the Journal Online, which will have a more influential role at the heart of the reformed news structure, and becomes a Deputy Managing Editor.

Deputy Managing Editor Dan Hertzberg will take responsibility for the European and Asian editions, and will have the task of building our editorial presence and profile in Europe and, in particular, in the U.K. Reg Chua becomes Senior Assistant Managing Editor, and will oversee the Design Team ? a new Director of Design will be appointed in coming days - and the development of data resources.

Most news organizations in the U.S. and around the world are in retreat, but Dow Jones is expanding its reporting resources, rapidly developing its digital content and providing journalism of the highest integrity to an ever larger audience in The Wall Street Journal.

Yours,

Robert.

[pic via NYO]