It was announced today that the Wall Street Journal is closing down its Boston Bureau. The following email was sent from WSJ editor Robert Thomson to the staff, notifying of them news.
Today we told our team in Boston that we are closing the bureau in its present form. The economic background to the closure is painfully obvious to us all. An investigative function will remain in Boston, but the core reporting team will be disbanded, though all nine reporters affected will certainly be able to apply for openings elsewhere on the paper. Coverage of the Boston mutual fund industry will switch to the Money and Investing team and we are creating an enhanced New York-based education team. Any such decision inevitably stirs apprehension and uncertainty, but there are no plans, nascent or otherwise, to close any other U.S. or international bureau. Meanwhile, the Newswires bureau and the MarketWatch team in Boston will remain at their present staffing levels.
That there has been truly great reporting under the generalship of Gary Putka out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.
This is a sad day for the WSJ and for the Boston market, which often had a large technology and health care focus in the paper. As the letter above said, nine reporters will be affected by this closing, through there will be an “investigative function” that remains. It us unknown how this will affect coverage of Boston-area companies and news.