Lex Fenwick out at Dow Jones
Big changes at News Corp. today: Lex Fenwick is out as chief executive of Dow Jones & Company after just two years on the job.
Fenwick will be replaced on an interim basis by News Corp.'s chief creative officer, William Lewis, who will "review Dow Jones’ institutional strategy," according to a press release distributed late Tuesday afternoon.
The move comes as Fenwick was set to oversee a crucial year for Dow Jones with the full rollout of a subscriber service called DJX that had been the cornerstone of his tenure. Fenwick joined Dow Jones in early 2012 following a long career at the rival financial news and information provider Bloomberg L.P.
“We thank Lex for his time and energy at the helm of Dow Jones, and in particular for his original vision of DJX as an innovative way to integrate content and deliver it to customers in a timely manner,” said News Corp. C.E.O. Robert Thomson in a statement.
“We’re reviewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its customers. As part of that, we’re planning improvements to DJX," Thomson continued, without elaborating on those changes. He said the company would be "redoubling our efforts" in terms of digital innovation at The Wall Street Journal, which is a part of Dow Jones and was recently integrated with the company's newswires.
As we reported last month, News Corp. was expected to keep a close watch on DJX over the course of 2014.
Part of the DJX sales pitch is that subscribers get early access to market-moving Journal and Dow Jones headlines from the organization's 1,800 journalists around the world. But it faces stiff competition from Bloomberg and Reuters, and some media observers have been skeptical of its viability in the market-place.
DJX was seen as Fenwick's baby, and it's unclear what might be in store for it under his successor.
Lewis, for his part, has been with News Corp. since 2010. He was previously editor-in-chief of the U.K.'s Telegraph Media Group and he's also held senior newsroom positions at The Sunday Times and The Financial Times.
Company executives were set to address the full staff at 5:15, according to a source.
UPDATE: Here's some color from the meeting, via Twitter: