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People : Pearlstine, Steiger Advance at the Wall Street Journal

June 07, 1991|JOHN LIPPMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dow Jones & Co., continuing management changes that began last year, on Thursday promoted Paul E. Steiger to managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. He succeeds Norman Pearlstine, who has been appointed executive editor.

Steiger, 48, has been deputy managing editor since 1985, but for more than a year he has been effectively running the newspaper on a daily basis. Pearlstine has been managing editor since November, 1983. The management changes take effect Monday.

"This is really the titles catching up with reality rather than any great change going on," Pearlstine said.

Pearlstine, also 48, will become more deeply involved in several Journal-related expansion plans including a new magazine joint venture with Hearst Corp., a classroom edition of the Wall Street Journal to be launched this fall, a series of "Journal travel guides" soon to be on the market and the newspaper's syndicated weekly TV show.

"There has been a clear sense among the staff of the Journal that Pearlstine's interest in the newspaper itself is waning and that what is turning him on is the new ventures, extensions of the publication, rather than continuing to run it or make other modifications," said Dean Rotbart, editor of the journalism newsletter TJFR Business News Reporter and a former Journal staff writer.

Steiger will be faced with running a newspaper in a radically different environment from when Pearlstine became managing editor nearly eight years ago. Pearlstine oversaw the Journal through a high-growth period that saw its circulation climb to nearly 2.1 million daily and its editorial staff swell by a quarter to about 525.

Steiger declined to comment on what structural changes may be made in response to a slower-growth outlook for the newspaper. But editorially he expects the Journal in the 1990s to focus more on international business and economics, changes in the workplace and "the interaction between environmental issues and business issues."

Steiger began his career as a Journal reporter and was later a staff writer and business editor at the Los Angeles Times. Steiger rejoined the Journal as an assistant managing editor in 1983 before being named deputy managing editor in 1985.

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