Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Bureau, Lays Off Nine

At 11:26 AM this morning, Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Thomson sent an email notifying staff that the Boston bureau will close, and nine reporters will lose their jobs. Two minutes later it was blasted to an undisclosed list of media reporters.

Coverage mutual fund companies headquartered there (including behemoth Fidelity and others) will be picked up by Money & Investing in New York. The large swath that is the education beat will also be picked up by reporters in New York.

Full text of the memo is after the jump:


Today we told our team in Boston that we are closing the bureau in its present form. The economic background to the closure is painfully obvious to us all. An investigative function will remain in Boston, but the core reporting team will be disbanded, though all nine reporters affected will certainly be able to apply for openings elsewhere on the paper. Coverage of the Boston mutual fund industry will switch to the Money and Investing team and we are creating an enhanced New York-based education team.

Any such decision inevitably stirs apprehension and uncertainty, but there are no plans, nascent or otherwise, to close any other U.S. or international bureau. Meanwhile, the Newswires bureau and the MarketWatch team in Boston will remain at their present staffing levels.

That there has been truly great reporting under the generalship of Gary Putka out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.