What did Tim Paradis neglect to mention in his Dow Jones news wire story revealing that Peter Kann will relinquish his positions as chief operating officer and publisher of the Wall Street Journal? (Kann will remain as Dow Jones chairman, chief executive, and editorial director.) The fact that the Journal’s new publisher, Karen Eliot House, is Kann’s wife!
It’s not as though the story doesn’t dish other details about House. It notes that she joined the Journal in 1974, became foreign editor in 1984, became vice president of Dow Jones’ international group in 1989, and became the group’s president in 1995. A Dow Jones press release manages to shoehorn in that House is married to Kann, raising the alarming possibility that Dow Jones’ PR department is more rigorously committed than its wire desk to telling the truth without fear or favor.
[Update, 3:45: Chatterbox has received the following e-mail from Gene Colter, deputy managing editor/North American equities for Dow Jones Newswires:
Regarding your “Chatterbox” posting that “Dow Jones news wire [sic]” forgot to mention that Dow Jones CEO Peter Kann is married to ascending publisher Karen House - an item that just crossed my desk: Not exactly fair. The person you single out, Tim Paradis, is tasked with writing up press releases. The editor in charge of follow-up coverage (me) made sure the relationship between Mr. Kann and Ms. House was mentioned in our follow-up story (“Dow Jones Elevates Execs, Forms Management Committee”). It’s not Tim’s job. It’s mine. Pardon me, but I was a little late today because I had to take my kid to the doctor.Chatterbox doesn’t follow Colter’s logic. He says it’s Tim Paradis’s job to write up press releases. But the fact that Karen House is Peter Kann’s wife was in the press release Paradis was working off. (And, of course, Paradis almost certainly didn’t have to be told in the first place that Karen House is Kann’s wife; everyone who works at Dow Jones knows that.) It shouldn’t have taken a deputy managing editor to make sure that basic information appeared in the story.Nonetheless, Chatterbox is glad to learn that eventually, the Dow Jones Newswire did put House’s relationship to Kann in a follow-up.]