James C. Smith, the Thomson Reuters COO who will replace Thomas H. Glocer as the company’s CEO next year, joined Thomson in 1987 through its newspaper group. Smith was managing editor of the Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail in 1987 when the paper was sold to Thomson Newspapers. Before that, Smith worked as a reporter and editor at the weekly Carlisle Mercury in his Kentucky hometown, says David Girardin, Thomson Reuters Corporate Affairs Manager. After the Thomson newspaper division was sold, Smith moved to another part of the company, which acquired Reuters in 2008.
Though Smith started his career as a journalist, departing CEO Glocer was the first nonjournalist to lead Reuters. In a 2009 gathering of about 50 people, he questioned why The New York Times had so many journalists.
Why does The New York Times need to have 600-700 journalists? Why not 30 journalists with 30 apprentices? Does The New York Times do a good job covering sports? So-so. Do they do a good job covering business? No. …
I mean, what are good journalists? … For good journalists, their job in company reporting is essentially to find out stuff that companies don’t want to release outside of their normal cycles or templates, and get that information faster.