Family Business

Dow Jones is not like other companies. How long can that go on?

  1. At first glance, the Wall Street Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones & Co., appear to be models of serenity. The newsroom, as newsrooms go, is surprisingly tranquil, despite a recent round of layoffs. Paul E. Steiger, the managing editor (the paper's top editorial position), listens more than he exhorts, and jokes about how boring he is. The chairman and C.E.O. of Dow Jones, Peter R. Kann, glances at his watch when he makes presentations, as if he couldn't wait to flee.

    The apparent calm is misleading. Kann will be sixty-one this year, four years short of mandatory retirement, and no one knows if his successor will be a journalist, like him and like his predecessors for the past half century. Steiger, too, is sixty-one, and the competition for his job has begun. The financial health of the company is less than robust; in 2002, Dow Jones lost eight million dollars, and reduced costs by nearly a hundred and seventy-nine million dollars. More than seventeen hundred full-time employ...

The complete text of “Family Business” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.newyorker.com.

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