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Dow Jones Chief Said To Be Stepping Down

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The offices of the Wall Street Journal have been swirling with rumors as the paper gets ready for Rupert Murdoch to officially take control of its parent company, Dow Jones, next week. One persistent rumor has it that the Journal is going to abandon it's downtown offices in the World Financial Center for a location in midtown. But perhaps the most talked about rumors have been possible changes in the executive suites of Dow Jones.
Now Newsweek is reporting that it looks like Dow Jones Chief Executive Richard Zannino is leaving. According to Newsweek, Mr. Z is expected to announce his resignation sometime this afternoon. The move is a bit surprising since Zannino reportedly helped spark Murdoch's campaign to purchase the company over a lunch last spring. So what happened?
"Murdoch apparently couldn't, or wouldn't, carve out a role to fit the ambitions of Zannino, a former fashion industry and retailing executive. But Zannino, the first nonjournalist ever at Dow Jones's helm, will exit with a severance package worth at least $30 million," Newsweek writes.
The rumor mill also says that Robert Thomson, editor of Murdoch-owned Times of London, may be named to replace Zannino.
Update: It's official. Here's the short and sweet official statement: "Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ) announced today that Richard F. Zannino, chief executive officer, plans to leave the Company after the closing of the acquisition of Dow Jones by News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS,)."
Update II: Journal now reporting on itself: News Corp. is expected to name News International executive chairman Les Hinton as CEO of Dow Jones, succeeding Rich Zannino, who announced his resignation earlier Thursday. Times of London editor Robert Thomson will become publisher of The Wall Street Journal."
Shakeup at Dow Jones [Newsweek]