Dow Boss Softens-Up Staff for Imminent Job Cuts

12 September 2007

NEW YORK: Secure in the knowledge that his own job is safe under the imminent 'Murdochization' of Dow Jones, ceo Richard F Zannino (pictured) is preparing staff for the bad news that will inevitably follow.

Writing to staff he claims that News Corporation's main goal is to increase profits at the WSJ and other Dow units "by strengthening and growing our products and brands - not by slashing costs".

But: "There will be some changes [and] where job cuts are unavoidable, we will communicate that as soon as practical."

Which in plain English means the lucky ones will know their fate sooner rather than later, while others chew their nails waiting for the next round of head-lopping.

Meantime, those on the sidelines wonder whether Zannino really believes that upping WSJ profitability is NewsCorp's primary goal in acquiring Dow? If he believes that, they say, he'll also believe that the moon is populated by ten-ton purple gerbils.

Other less credulous souls believe that the real motive for the $5 billion (€3.62bn; £2.46bn) acquisition is to massage Clan Murdoch's other business interests.

In the first instance to lend much needed credibility to the launch of its Fox News business television channel on October 15.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff