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The Wall Street Journal appoints Matt Murray as editor-in-chief

The move ends Gerard Baker's five-and-a-half year run leading the Journal and the Dow Jones Newswires.
Image: A man walks by the News Corporation headquarters
The New York headquarters of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. named Matt Murray as editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday, marking the end of Gerard Baker's leadership of the newspaper's editorial operation.

Murray became executive editor under Baker last year. Baker will remain with the paper as editor-at-large and will host a show on the Fox Business Network, which is also owned by Murdoch.

The British-born Baker was named editor-in-chief of the Journal and Dow Jones in December 2012, taking over for Robert Thomson, who was promoted to CEO of News Corp.

"Gerry has been a very successful editor at a time when journalism has been digitally challenged," Thomson said in a news release. "I have no doubt that Matt is a worthy successor as editor-in-chief and will be a leader of the highest commitment and integrity. His strong reporting and editing background and his passion for the Journal are obvious to all who have the privilege of working with him."

Baker and Thomson had generally been regarded as having a conservative leaning similar to that of Murdoch, who bought the paper and the Dow Jones wire service in 2007.

More recently, Baker's tenure at the paper had become the subject of speculation due to reports that he had lost favor with much of his newsroom. In March, some Journal staffers reportedly sent around an email accusing Baker of suppressing a story and graphic about the 2008 financial crisis because it showed the increase in economic inequality and was "too liberal," according to Politico.

Murray joined Dow Jones & Co. in 1994 as a reporter in Pittsburgh, and moved to the Journal's Money & Investing section three years later, covering banking. He has also been the paper's deputy managing editor, deputy editor-in-chief and national news editor. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

Murray takes over on Monday, The Journal said.