Wall Street Journal shakes up D.C. bureau

Michael Calderone

Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Robert Thomson informed staff Monday that John Bussey, the Washington bureau chief over the past three years, will be heading to New York to write a column and take on two new roles: assistant managing editor and executive business editor.

The move doesn't come as a huge surprise to Journal staffers, since there's been buzz for months that a management change was in the works. Thomson praised Bussey's role in "restructuring the bureau" in the memo; however, some staffers might also point out the significant turnover in Washington over the past few years. A few of the big names who left the Journal during his tenure:  Jackie Calmes, Glenn Simpson, Sue Schmidt, Peter Spiegel, and Greg Hitt.

Jerry Seib, who ran the bureau before Bussey took over in September 2007, will now oversee both the Journal and Dow Jones Newswires teams, along with two deputy bureau chiefs:  Matthew Rose and Rob Wells. Seib will continue writing the "Capital Journal" column.

Thomson's memo, obtained by The Cutline, is after the jump.

Dear All,

We are making a fundamental change to the structure of our Washington Bureaus. After three years as Bureau Chief, John Bussey will move to New York to write a weekly column (and more) on international business and be promoted to Assistant Managing Editor and Executive Business Editor.

The Newswires and Journal teams will be combined and led by the adroit Jerry Seib, with two Deputy Bureau Chiefs, Matthew Rose, who will oversee the day-to-day running of Journal coverage, and Rob Wells, who currently heads the Newswires operation and will have an enhanced role overseeing real-time reporting.

In his role as Chief of a unified bureau, Jerry will continue to write his market-moving Capital Journal column once a week and provide leadership for all of our journalists in Washington.

The change in structure reflects our need to identify and develop emerging themes ahead of the competition, and to maximize the use of our very talented Newswires team. Integration is possible now because of the excellent work done by Rob and John to improve communication and coordination between the two bureaus, which covered the mid-term elections with much distinction.

We should laud John for his work in restructuring the bureau, promoting emerging talent and developing coverage at a time when our audience has grown significantly, and our national and international role as a trusted source of political and economic news has expanded.

Jerry will take up his new role early next month, and report to Matt Murray and Neal Lipschutz.  Join me in congratulating Jerry on his ascension, and John, Rob and Matthew on their promotions.