John Seeley out at W.S.J. amid newsroom cuts

Wall Street Journal. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

John Seeley has been let go from his job at The Wall Street Journal, where he was founding editor of the paper's metro section, Greater New York.

"Tonight I'm the bearer of bad news: The corporate belt-tighteners have decided that it would be best for the company if I were squeezed out," he wrote to Greater New York staff Wednesday evening in an email obtained by Capital. "The worst part for me is that I will no longer be able to work to continue the section's exciting maturation. The best part is that I got to teach my kid a new word -- downsizing."

One insider speculated the paper is making "strategic trims to free up money for hires" as it heads into a new fiscal year on July 1.

A Journal spokesperson said the paper has been "evaluating many areas of the newsroom" in recent weeks. "As a result we will be eliminating certain positions."

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

In 2009, Seeley was hired to launch Greater New York as part of parent-company News Corp's plans to transform the Journal into more of a general interest read that would take on The New York Times in its own backyard.

For awhile, the section was seen as an also-ran, but it has gained traction over the past couple of years thanks to its coverage of blockbuster stories like Hurricane Sandy and Bridgegate.

Seeley was named "New York desk editor" last July as Journal veteran Bob Rose became "New York bureau chief," a role that put him in charge of running reporters while Seeley "oversaw all quality control and production" and "work[ed] closely with the USNEWS desk to give GNY’s work a greater presence on the homepage and in the U.S. news pages," according to a memo at the time.

Prior to the Journal, Seeley was deputy managing editor of The New York Sun, and after that paper folded in 2008, he went on to import some of its talent to Greater New York.

"To paraphrase Neil Young in 'The Last Waltz,' it's been one of the true honors of my life to share this stage with you," Seeley wrote in his farewell memo. "I can honestly say, as I often do when giving references, that I would hire all of you again (and would hire those of you I didn't hire in the first place)."