SmartMoney Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dahl and two dozen other staffers will lose their jobs as part of Dow Jones & Co.’s plan to stop producing a print edition of the personal-finance magazine, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The monthly title will cease printing after its September issue, though it will continue online, News Corp.’s Dow Jones division said earlier today in a statement. The editorial staff of SmartMoney.com will add six new positions and the site’s employees will report to Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal’s digital operations.
“It’s clear that the volatility of markets and asset classes has increased the need for rapid delivery of personal finance intelligence, so we will be expanding our team and presence on the Web,” Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, said in the statement.
SmartMoney was started in 1992 to capitalize on burgeoning interest in personal finance. In recent years, it has struggled to maintain advertising sales, mirroring the broader print-journalism business. The magazine’s ad pages fell 10 percent this year through the June issue, compared with a year earlier, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
SmartMoney, which was founded as a joint venture between Dow Jones and Hearst Corp., became fully owned by Dow Jones in 2010 when the company bought out Hearst’s 50 percent stake. It had a circulation of about 815,000 as of December, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The announcement follows a management shake-up under the leadership of Lex Fenwick, a former Bloomberg LP executive who took the Dow Jones CEO job in February.
Todd Larsen stepped down as president this week after being passed over for the top job earlier this year. Other departures included Scott Schulman, president of corporate markets group; Lynne Brennen, head of circulation; and Bethany Sherman, the chief communications officer.
Fenwick replaced Les Hinton, who departed as Dow Jones CEO in July amid fallout from a phone-hacking scandal at the parent company’s U.K. newspaper unit. Hinton had been in charge of News Corp.’s British newspapers at the time the hacking took place.
The company also announced this week that Alisa Bowen, general manager of the company’s Wall Street Journal Digital Network, will become head of product for Dow Jones. And the division is creating a new department called Data Strategy that will integrate its research teams. The operation will be run by Joe Lanza, who currently serves as president of the company’s Financial Markets.
Bloomberg competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information.