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Murdoch influence grows at WSJ

News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch (pictured) is stepping up his involvement in the Wall Street Journal, the newspaper he acquired last August from the Bancroft family as part of Dow Jones & Co (click here to read more).

The WSJ's managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, resigned from his post yesterday after a meeting between members of the Special Committee ? designed to protect the editorial integrity of the newspaper ? and representatives from Dow Jones and News Corp.

"Following the change in ownership of Dow Jones and the WSJ, I have concluded the time is right to consider new career possibilities," said Brauchli, who will now take up a position as consultant to News Corp, the Murdoch family's flagship company.

"I am pleased he has accepted this new role and believe his experience will be a great asset, especially in Asia ? a region where we see significant growth potential and where he has particular expertise," said Murdoch.

Murdoch did not waste any time in asserting his authority and influence, writing the WSJ's editorial yesterday in which he criticised the West about NATO. "If we continue to define 'the West' or 'the Alliance' as a strictly geographical concept, the alliance will continue to erode," he wrote. "But if we define 'the West' as a community of values, institutions and a willingness to act jointly, we will revive an important bastion of freedom and make it as pivotal in our own century as it was in the last."

However, with accusations about Murdoch's perceived interference in the WSJ's editorial line ? a major sticking point in the Dow jones deal ? still raw at News Corp, the firm released a further statement in which Brauchli said his departure was "amicable" and that he had "assured the committee that his decision had nothing to do with any integrity issue at the WSJ."

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