News Corp. is set to take over the day-to-day running of the company beginning Dec. 14, but Mr. Murdoch's plans have been in place for some time. Richard Zannino, the outgoing Dow Jones CEO, told Off the Record that shortly after Labor Day, the two men agreed that Mr. Zannino would leave the company. Very shortly thereafter, he said, Mr. Murdoch made the decision to bring in Mr. Hinton and Mr. Thomson.
"Oh, I knew for a while," said Mr. Zannino, referring to the identity of his replacements. "I knew well in advance. Once Rupert and I agreed I'd move on, then he started sharing with me ideas about what he would do."
Mr. Zannino may stick around for a while to help with the transition. "I told Rupert that I'll stay for as long or as little as he would like me to stick around," Mr. Zannino continued. "I'll help him finalize next year's budget and put planning issues to bed."