Journal Hatchling Leaps From Nest, ‘Confident’ Alma Mater Will Survive Murdoch

Peter Waldman, an investigative feature writer for The Wall Street Journal, is leaving the paper for a job at Portfolio.

Mr. Waldman, who is based in the paper’s San Francisco bureau, will begin at Portfolio in mid-August as a senior investigative writer. On Monday, he announced his decision to his colleagues via email.

“With trepidation, and sadness, I want you to know that I’ll be leaving the Journal next month after nearly 22 years,” wrote Mr. Waldman.

 

“The move to a startup is risky, but I see the upside at this point in my career as worth it: The opportunity to break into long-form journalism, for a magazine determined to marry serious, aggressive reporting with the gloss and glamour of Conde Nast production values,” he added.

 

Mr. Waldman’s departure comes at a time when many longtime Journal staffers are pondering their future at the paper. Did Mr. Murdoch’s looming bid to purchase Dow Jones impact his decision?

“Only to the extent that it focused my mind on what sort of writer I want to be and what sort of writing I want to do,” said Mr. Waldman. “I have tremendous confidence in Marcus Brauchli and the staff here.”

Mr. Waldman sounded optimistic about a possible future for the paper under News Corp.

“The Journal is the purest journalistic culture I’ve ever seen,” said Mr. Waldman. “Unless that changes, reporters here aren’t going to want to leave. I don’t think [Murdoch’s] acquisition of the company would change that necessarily because the culture is so strong. I don’t think there will be an exodus unless he does something to cause people to lose faith.”

Mr. Waldman joined the Journal in 1986 as an intern in the paper’s San Francisco bureau. Over the years, he has held various positions at the Journal including a six-year stint as a foreign correspondent covering the Middle East.

Mr. Waldman said he is looking forward to stretching his writing muscles. He said he will continue to be based in San Francisco, but will enjoy broad leeway in following stories, including possible returns to the Middle East.

“The Journal has been nothing but extraordinary to me over the years, and I’m confident all of you will find a way to navigate the shoals and maintain what is certainly the purest journalistic culture on the planet,” he concluded in his email to his colleagues. “But it’s time, at last, for this Journal hatchling to leap from the nest.”

Journal Hatchling Leaps From Nest, ‘Confident’ Alma Mater Will Survive Murdoch