Louise Story, who oversaw digital strategy and technology at The Wall Street Journal, has decided to leave the paper after less than three years.
Her departure was announced on Tuesday by Matt Murray, the editor in chief, in an email to the staff that was obtained by The New York Times.
“I’m personally grateful to Louise and will miss her strong work ethic, strategic mind, commitment to high-quality journalism, keen news judgment, and unique ability to connect text, video and audio, product, design, engineering and audiences,” Mr. Murray said in the note.
Ms. Story, a seasoned journalist who joined The Journal as one of the most senior women in its newsroom after a decade at The New York Times, had been entangled in a power struggle between Mr. Murray and the newly appointed publisher, Almar Latour. Mr. Murray hired Ms. Story with the aim of updating The Journal for the digital age, but Mr. Latour had his own vision.
Ms. Story had amassed a large team that over the course of a year assessed the newsroom’s workings, resulting in a 209-page report, “The Content Review.” It was more than just an audit — it made sweeping recommendations for how the paper should operate.
It noted that “in the past five years, we have had six quarters where we lost more subscribers than we gained,” and it said addressing the paper’s slow-growing audience called for significant changes in everything from social media strategy to which subjects were deemed newsworthy.
The report argued that the paper should attract new readers — specifically women, people of color and younger professionals — by focusing more on topics such as climate change and income inequality. Among its suggestions: “We also strongly recommend putting muscle behind efforts to feature more women and people of color in all of our stories.”
But the report was never officially shared with the newsroom, and only parts of it were adopted.
“Louise has played a central role in advancing our digital transformation and broadening the reach and impact of our journalism,” Mr. Murray said in his Tuesday note.
The Wall Street Journal did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
In her farewell note to the staff, Ms. Story said, “It’s been an honor editing your journalism, developing strategies and tactics with you to make our work more impactful and building new teams here that are helping the WSJ grow.”
She said she would be working on a book.