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Reuters editor-in-chief sets agenda for 2013

Following recent large-scale layoffs and tight cost controls, Reuters is committed to an ambitious agenda in 2013, president and editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said on Wednesday.

In a message to staff looking at the year ahead, he reported rapid progress integrating the merged editorial and media teams into a single Reuters-branded news organisation, while continuing to sharpen the news file to serve customers better.

The re-organisation, implemented at the turn of the year, gave Adler control of all editorial production and media sales and marketing at Reuters.

“We are committed to an ambitious agenda in 2013 as we also exercise great discipline in controlling costs during a very tight budget year,” he said. “The cost controls have required tough decisions on staffing in recent weeks, resulting in the departure of some colleagues in News, as well as elsewhere in Thomson Reuters. I want to thank those who are leaving for all their contributions. In addition, as already communicated to the people affected, the company is not providing merit increases this year to top earners, unless separately covered by a collective bargaining agreement.”

Adler said journalistic excellence remained the pre-eminent goal because customers needed and expected Reuters to be first in class at providing fast, accurate, impartial, and insightful work upon which they can rely without question.

“And, of course, our sales and marketing teams can only be successful when the content they sell is truly essential to customers in their lives and work.

“With the creation of a single Reuters team, responsible for both production and commercialization of news & insight, we are already better positioned than we were in past years to align our coverage plans with the commercial strategies of our businesses.”

Adler said one of Reuters’ most exciting launches of recent years was approaching: the introduction of an innovative new suite of digital news products, anchored by a new and Reuters News Pro, its application for mobile devices. “These products, which we’ve been calling Reuters Next, will provide vastly stronger showcases for our work in text, pictures and video, aimed at sophisticated news users who are, or should be, customers of Thomson Reuters’ subscription products.

“As always, we are pursuing these initiatives with allegiance to the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles, which call on us both to embrace independence and impartiality and to pursue market leadership in our work. These principles give us a competitive advantage in guaranteeing our customers accurate and neutral reporting, as they guide our own behavior.”

Adler emphasised that Thomson Reuters was deeply committed to news and insight and fully recognised how much value it delivered to the company’s customers across a wide range of businesses. “We will continue to build and support talent within Reuters and take every opportunity to exploit growth opportunities in areas of strategic importance to the businesses we serve.” 

He listed his goals for 2013 as follows:

Achieve editorial excellence: Continue focus on being best at speed, accuracy, exclusivity, and neutrality while providing greater insight and stronger commentary.

Enforce Trust Principles: Comply enthusiastically with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles of integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.

Focus on customers:

  • For the Finance & Risk division which includes Reuters news agency, implement buy side news strategy in alignment with business and build momentum for community initiatives
  • For Legal, create targeted content for news modules within Westlaw Next and support new Legal businesses and initiatives
  • For Tax & Accounting, renovate the News & Insight site to build a community of customers, and expand coverage globally
  • For Agency, continue driving Agency growth while supporting Thomson Reuters’ professional businesses through stronger branding and greater strategic integration
  • For Consumer, launch world-class mobile consumer apps in Q1 and transition to new website, while increasingly deploying these products to support Thomson Reuters’ professional businesses.

Exercise cost discipline: Manage costs carefully in all areas, while making more strategic use of existing resources in concert with Thomson Reuters business strategies.

Meet performance targets: Monitor performance and meet targets for achieving journalistic excellence, driving commercial value, controlling costs, generating customer satisfaction, and building communities.

Nurture talent: Create a high-performance culture by managing effectively, differentiating performance, developing talent, and building diverse teams.

Enhance communications: Explain the Reuters mission consistently and effectively throughout Thomson Reuters and beyond. ■