Remember all that bellyaching about how Murdoch and News Corp (NWS) were going to destroy the Journal? Remember those fears that if the Bancrofts caved, the Journal’s best reporters would bolt, leaving Murdoch with a newsroom filled with interns? Well, it’s early yet, but the predicted exodus has yet to begin.
The Observer reports that the NYT has hired Fortune’s Tim Arango (above left) as a business reporter to replace Richard Siklos (who jumped to Fortune). That’s good for Tim and the Times, so congratulations. However…
The Observer also reports that before hiring Tim, the Times tried to poach not one, not two, not three, but four Wall Street Journal reporters, all of whom either turned the paper down or demurred before an offer was made: Kate Kelly, Merissa Marr, Sarah Ellison, and Matthew Karnitschnig.
If any news organisation is in a position to woo reporters away from the Journal, it’s the Times, so the struggles here reveal a few things:
- Despite their bellyaching, the Journal’s top reporters are happy
- Murdoch’s not an idiot
- Murdoch is defending the paper’s assets (people).
It also suggests two others:
- There isn’t going to be any exodus.
- Murdoch isn’t going to “wreck” the Journal (There, we said it!)
Meanwhile, the Times has something else to worry about: What will happen to its business franchise (anchored by Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Dealbook) when the Journal goes free?