How Long Has Gerard Baker Been 'Wall Street Journal' Editor-In-Chief? The GOP Debate Moderator Was Promoted During A Shake-Up
The fourth Republican presidential debate airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox Business and will be moderated by some of financial news' heavy hitters. Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker will be joining the Fox Business personalities Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto as a moderator. Baker has been the editor-in-chief at The Wall Street Journal since 2013. He has been at the paper a bit longer, though: He made his move to the Journal in 2009; he started off as deputy editor-in-chief and was promoted during a shake-up by Rupert Murdoch at the end of 2012 that saw the News Corp. newspaper and book publishing businesses split off from the larger 21st Century Fox TV and film assets.
Born in Britain, Baker studied philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College at Oxford University. He has also worked as an economist for the Bank of England and Lloyds according to his Wall Street Journal bio. After his stint as an analyst he decided the career wasn't for him and responded to an ad in The Economist for a job in TV. He then started his journalism career at the BBC where he worked as a producer and then as an economics correspondent for TV and radio. After a stint in Japan, he started exclusively covering the United States for the British publications The Financial Times and The Times of London.
Gerard has seen some difficult times at the paper since his arrival. Some contract buyouts were offered in 2013 and newsroom layoffs were announced in both 2014 and then again 2015. In a memo written to employees and released this June by CNN, Baker said that the paper had to prepare itself for the digital world — which means being the best at what it focuses on, U.S. business news, and operating efficiently online and through social media. He said that meant laying off some reporters that covered small business and personal finance beats — not the paper's specialty. The measure closed and minimized some overseas bureaus too. The savings, he said, would fund more positions geared towards video, social media, and analytics.
Former media critic of The New York Times David Carr, who died in February, critiqued Baker back in 2009 when he was first appointed deputy editor-in-chief for being a neoconservative who pushed for anti-Obama coverage while working at The Financial Times in Washington, D.C. After Baker's promotion, Carr said his push for antigovernment coverage had continued at the Journal. In an interview, Baker said himself that even though he once was left-leaning, he had a radical transformation of his views in the 1980s. The shift came from a trip to the Soviet Union, which he described as full of "drab uniformity." He compared it with London and New York's color and diversity. "Whatever remaining doubts I might have had about the relative virtues of the capitalist system versus the communist system were removed," Baker said.
At The Wall Street Journal, even in his post as editor-in-chief, Baker has remained active on social media as part of the paper's digital transformation. Since his promotion, the paper's web properties have been redesigned and social media interaction has been amped up. He has around 17,000 followers on Twitter, but he could use your love on Instagram — there, he has just under 900 followers. He also pens a daily email called The 10-Point that explains the best stories in each day's paper.