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The Wall Street Journal to shut its India edition, downsize India ops

The Wall Street Journal is downsizing its India operations and will pull the plug on its Indian edition, three sources have confirmed to MediaNama. The India website, http://www.wsj.com/india, will be merged into its global website. For the time being, its India focused blog, India RealTime, will remain. India Realtime has been scaled down over the past few months, sources told us.

Anirban Roy, the Digital and News Editor (India) at WSJ confirmed to MediaNama that the coming Tuesday is his last working day with the publication, but declined to comment further.

WSJ India’s Bangalore operation, where a reporter was posted to report on India’s tech and startup ecosystem, is also being shuttered, while the Delhi operations are being downsized, sources told MediaNama.

Dow Jones & Company, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, hasn’t confirmed or denied these specific developments, but they have shared details of their recently announced global restructuring and layoff plans, which have been included in this report. We’ll update with more, in case Dow Jones responds with specific clarifications.

Layoffs announced earlier this month

“These closures and realignments do not reflect on the quality of the work done by these teams, but simply speak to the pressing need to become more focused as a newsroom on areas we believe are ripe for growth,” Gerard Baker, Editor in Chief at WSJ, had said in a memo earlier this month, outlining the reasons behind changes being made globally by the company.

WSJ had announced that it was shutting its Bahasa Indonesia website, and a number of its bureaus in Europe and Asia, including bureaus in Prague and Helsinki. This, Baker said in the memo, “will reduce significantly the amount of output we do that generates relatively little traffic or subscribers,” reduce its non-core blogs and eliminate teams such as personal finance, a New York based economics team, among others. The cost savings are meant to provide savings to enable hiring in “critical areas of business, finance, technology, markets and global economics”, as well as for digital expertise: “visuals and video, audience data and analytics; social media engagement and others.”

Part of a global restructuring at the Wall Street Journal

This is believed to be a part of a larger restructuring operation from the Wall Street Journal, wherein a single edition will be published across the globe, with possibly one page with regional stories. Earlier this month, WSJ announced its plan to launch a “new global newspaper” for its readers in Europe and Asia, with a similar print and digital experience with regionally relevant content.

The new newspaper, according to the publication, is expected to launch mid September, and “will replace the current compact newspapers in Europe and Asia.” It will target key financial capital cities, such as London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Shanghai; a notable absence from this list: Mumbai. In India, WSJ has government approval for publishing a facsimilie edition of its Asia edition.

The paper will showcase the top news from around the world, but “with regionally relevant front pages, as well as stories, columns and other articles inside the paper that will be relevant to readers in Europe and Asia”. The paper will also have iPad and Android editions for subscribers.

International publications in India

– Huffington Post India went live in December last year. the publication had roped in Quartz India founding editor Sruthijith KK as its editor.

– Social news and entertainment site BuzzFeed launched its Indian edition, in August last year. This was their sixth International edition after dedicated editions for UK, Australia, Brazil, Spain and France.

– Atlantic Media’s mobile-first digital publication Quartz had launched its Indian edition in partnership with Scroll.in.

– The New York Times (NYT) shut down its India-specific blog India Ink, in July last year. It had been launched in September 2011, to offer news and analysis targeting the Indians, and those who follow news about India, abroad.

– ZDNet had launched its Indian edition in June last year.

– The Wall Street Journal has a India-specific blog called India Real Time. It also has a Hindi blog called India Real Time Hindi.

– Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Business InsiderIGNAskMen and Pursuitist have launched their respective Indian editions with Times Internet tie-up. TechRadar,Readwrite and Remodelista have also tied up with Times Internet to launch their Indian editions.

– Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd had inked a joint venture with the US based digital media firm Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC) to launch India.com which has rolled out properties like BGR.in, BollywoodLife and OnCars among others.

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