November 30, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT

DJ Canada Lay-Offs


Amazing news: Dow Jones has closed the Wall Street Journal offices in Canada.

Six fine journalists have been laid off, a personal tragedy for each of them and a disturbing development for every one of us.


This is a tough one to get your mind around: The Wall Street Journal no longer has a Journal reporter in Canada. The Journal has "walked away" from coverage of the largest trading partner of the United States, leaving Canada as the only G-7 nation where the Journal doesn't have a presence.

This is a terrible decision, but it isn't an isolated one. It caps a steady, painful drumbeat of IT and support-staff cuts and outsourcing over the past year.

Ironically, all of these cutbacks come as the company prepares to roll out the new "Journal 3.0." Management isn't behaving like a group of people who are building a strong, confident enterprise for the future. Management is behaving like a frightened bunch who are short on ideas and long on knives.

We've made contract proposals that are designed to provide all of us with better job protection— and we'll continue to press those proposals— but, on top of everything else that has happened, "closing Canada" calls into question this company's fundamental commitment to quality.

Rich Zannino said it himself when he assumed the job of Dow Jones CEO,

"I strongly believe that, for Dow Jones, journalistic excellence and business performance are mutually reinforcing— and I am deeply committed to both. I especially want our employees to know how much I value their commitment, contribution, teamwork, and passion for what we stand for— all are essential to our future success."

In less than a year as CEO, Rich hasn't been doing well at keeping his promises. We all need to remind Rich— every day— and in every way— that it's time for him to live up to his words.

Steve Yount

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