Wall Street Journal Said to Close or Scale Back European Bureaus

  • Budapest, Madrid and Warsaw bureaus said targeted in cutbacks
  • Publisher said planning more cuts with WSJ 2020 program

The Wall Street Journal is significantly reducing its presence in Europe as the latest round of cutbacks from publisher Dow Jones sweeps through the continent, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

As part of a reorganization that began last week, Dow Jones is closing or scaling back bureaus in Budapest, Madrid and Warsaw, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing non-public details. The company, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., is considering moving its newswire operations to Barcelona, supplementing an existing London hub, one of the people said. Other bureaus could also be affected by layoffs and closings, some of the people said.

More cuts are planned as part of a broad review of operations under the three-year WSJ 2020 program at Dow Jones, the people said. The company confirmed unspecified reductions in Europe and Asia last week after they were discussed by a U.S. union representative, but it provided no details.

“We remain committed to covering the regions and will continue to do so robustly,” the company said then by e-mail.

A spokeswoman for Dow Jones declined to comment.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. and the Wall Street Journal in providing financial news and services.

Some Journal reporters and editors in Germany and Russia have also been let go, one of the people said. In the Nordic region, the only news staffer left is an editor in Stockholm, said one of the people.

While it’s unclear how many jobs will be lost in total, the newspaper itself reported that the current changes would result in dismissals for dozens.

The cuts that began last week follow dismissals of U.S. workers at the Journal in November and the combining of sections to save on print costs. Like other newspapers, the Journal is scaling back on expenses as it tries to sign up more online subscribers to make up for a decline in print ads. The Journal surpassed 1 million digital-only subscribers last year.

The WSJ 2020 plan is focused on driving membership on mobile devices and bringing revenue streams in line with modern news consumption habits.

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