MEDIA
12/03/2012 08:34 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2013

Gerard Baker Named Wall Street Journal Editor; Robert Thomson CEO Of News Corp. Publishing Company

News Corp. made a dizzying series of high-level personnel changes on Monday, naming a new editor at the Wall Street Journal and officially making current editor Robert Thomson the CEO of the publishing company that will emerge from the planned split of the conglomerate.

Gerard Baker will succeed Thomson as managing editor at the Journal, Rupert Murdoch's company announced. Baker is currently the deputy editor-in-chief at the paper.

The news of Thomson's ascension to the head of the publishing company leaked out over the weekend.

On Monday, News Corp. announced that the new publishing company, which will comprise all of its newspaper and book titles, will retain the News Corporation name. The other company, which will contain all of Murdoch's film, television and entertainment properties, will be called the Fox Group.

Murdoch announced that he was dividing his empire in two in June. He will be chairman and CEO of Fox Group and chairman of News Corp. Thomson will have the task of guiding a company with several unprofitable titles to financial success.

News Corp. also said it will shut its iPad app, The Daily, and make its editor, Jesse Angelo, the publisher of the New York Post.

Murdoch tweeted about one of the moves on Monday:

Below, read the memo Murdoch sent to News Corp. employees, obtained by The Huffington Post:

Dear Colleagues,

I have great news to report regarding the proposed separation of our company into two global leaders.

In keeping with our rich, 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world, the publishing entity will retain the name News Corporation. The media and entertainment company, which has excelled at engaging, entertaining and enlightening people around the globe for almost three decades, will be named Fox Group.

In addition to announcing the names of the two entities, we are taking an important step in advancing this separation process today by announcing several additional details. We have appointed Robert Thomson as Chief Executive Officer of the proposed publishing company. Robert, who has served as Editor-in-Chief of Dow Jones and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal, is a true visionary, as proven by his outstanding leadership at the Journal, which has become the dominant newspaper in the U.S. and has greatly expanded its global reach through WSJ.com, which now publishes in eight languages.

In addition, today we are announcing key members of the leadership team for the new News Corporation, including Bedi Ajay Singh, who will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Cheesbrough who will serve as Chief Technology Officer (he holds the same title at News Corp. currently). Keisha Smith, formerly of Morgan Stanley, will be the new company’s director of Human Resources. I am excited about the appointments of Bedi, Paul and Keisha, as they bring incredible talents to the team and share with Robert and me the desire and will to bridge the triumphs of our past with the opportunities of tomorrow.

Many of you know that a belief in the power of the written word has been in my bones for my entire life. It began as I listened to my father’s stories from his days as a war correspondent and, later, a successful publisher. It deepened when, starting in grammar school, I rolled up my sleeves and worked alongside fellow students to publish school journals. I witnessed the hunger people had for well-written, thoroughly observed stories ... stories that provide not just information, but insight. That hunger is alive and well today; my personal mission is to serve and satisfy the human need for insight as well as I possibly can.

Storytelling of a different kind has also empowered us to fuel the human spirit and enlighten the lives of millions of people through our film, TV and sports properties. We began more than 25 years ago with the acquisition of a modest but promising film studio and bucked conventional wisdom at every opportunity on our way to creating the world’s most successful media and entertainment portfolio. Fox Group will continue this mission and in doing so will engage audiences in a way that not only drives financial success, but also inspires the imaginations of millions of people around the world.

During our history, you – the people of this company – have told these stories with astonishing skill and ever-increasing success. The key to that success – one that has been reinforced time and time again as this company has grown – is in finding the brightest, most talented, most innovative people and setting them out on a journey of discovery.

Because of your creativity, commitment to innovation, and continuous dedication to achieving the future, we have barreled through the boundaries of what is possible.

That’s the secret to our success: Your talent. Your inspiration. Your passion.

While we will face challenges at both companies going forward, together, we have already achieved the seemingly impossible. Now imagine what we can accomplish with the focus, flexibility and collaboration that two independent entities will make possible.

Change always breeds uncertainty, but let me be very clear about one thing that is certain: We aren’t finished achieving what others deem impossible. Not even close.

It is an honor and a pleasure to work alongside you. The work you do every day never fails to amaze and inspire me.

And the best news of all ... We’re just getting started.

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