Musical Chairs at the Wall Street Journal 1


By Kyle Austin

When the news broke in late January that Rupert Murdoch had plans to move the WSJ’s New York offices to midtown, I joked with Jessica Vascellaro that I’d be bugging her for more in-person briefings with clients (The Journal’s current isolation in the financial district, with only Fast Company being in the near vicinity, makes it a nightmare for media tours).

However, as it turns out, she’ll be one of the current New York based Journal reporters not making the trek uptown. She’s headed to covering the Valley in the WSJ’s San Francisco Bureau. Less then a week after we found out that Kevin Delaney was being moved off the Google and Yahoo! beat and into the New York offices as deputy editor of WSJ.com; we’ve found his replacement.

Vascellaro has quickly risen to prominence within the New York bureau of the WSJ with her adept view on the New York tech scene and beyond. The biggest feather in her cap can be traced to her daily coverage on the struggle for power at IAC between Barry Diller and John Malone. Her coverage has become the epilogue of record in that drama, as the Silicon Alley Insider summed up nicely yesterday when breaking news of her move:

“(She) turned a free, private plane ride from New York to Denver with Liberty Media consigliere Greg Maffei into the definitive IAC/Liberty story. How definitive? Enough that it became part of the recent IAC/Liberty trial.”

The Insider also points out that she was still writing for the Harvard Crimson in 05′ in an effort to illustrate that Vascellaro finds herself in a lofty position for a twenty-five year old journalist. She is in a lofty position. However, as a fellow 83′ baby I’m happy to say – I think she’s quite capable of handling the new role.

Vascellaro is getting familiar with the Yahoo! beat. While it may have been a timely placed smoke screen by Yahoo!, Vascellaro was part of the WSJ team that first reported on subsequent talks they were taking part in with News Corp and Time Warner after Microsoft’s initial bid.

Last week she penned a piece on Yahoo!’s endorsement of OpenSocial and she has been contributing to many other stories around Microsfoft’s bid for Yahoo! including yesterday’s story on Yahoo! turning its cold shoulder to Microsoft (for what is likely the 100th time within the last 2 months).

There’s no doubt that the skills she has displayed in covering the IAC drama will come in very handy as she begins to insightfully cover the Microsoft and Yahoo! drama.  The Microsoft drama along with following some other company called “Google?” are sure to keep her “quite busy,” as she echoed in correspondence with me this morning.

Plus she now gets to gain tutelage in the relative vicinity of Kara Swisher (she thinks Vascellaro is excellent as well), who some are already comparing Vascellaro’s business reporting aptitude to.


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