* Stephen Adler to replace David Schlesinger
* Adler to head news operations across Thomson Reuters
* Schlesinger to become chairman of Thomson Reuters China
By Kenneth Li and Jennifer Saba
NEW YORK, Feb 7 Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.N) (TRI.TO) has appointed Stephen Adler as the new editor-in-chief of Reuters News, putting the former BusinessWeek executive in charge of all news operations across the company.
Adler replaces David Schlesinger, who, after a 24-year career at the global news and information provider, will return to China -- where he started his career -- as chairman of Thomson Reuters China.
The move is part of a strategy to unite the broad resources of the company best known for its 160-year-old news agency that has undergone an era of massive expansion with the $16 billion merger of Thomson Corp and Reuters in 2008.
The merger gave Reuters, traditionally a financial news and data provider, new customers in professional arenas including legal, healthcare and accounting.
Adler joined Reuters in 2010 as head of editorial content for professional clients. His appointment as editor in chief, overseeing nearly 3,000 journalists globally, takes effect immediately, the company said.
"There is going to be one news organization to serve all the businesses," Adler, who will also take on the role of executive vice president of news at Thomson Reuters, said in an interview on Monday. "The goal is to have a united news organization."
The change at the top of Reuters News comes as it faces unprecedented competition from thousands of Internet sources, which have transformed the global media industry, as well as from traditional rivals such as Bloomberg LP and News Corp's (NWSA.O) Dow Jones.
Adler joined Thomson Reuters in January 2010 from BusinessWeek magazine, where he served as top editor over a five year period when the magazine won more than a 100 journalism awards. He left BusinessWeek after Bloomberg purchased the financially struggling title.
Prior to BusinessWeek, Adler spent 16 years at the Wall Street Journal, where he led an investigative reporting team that won three Pulitzer prizes, the highest honor in American journalism.
As Reuters top journalist, Schlesinger oversaw the launch of the online video news service Reuters Insider, the integration of the BreakingViews financial commentary service and the launch of Reuters America, a general news wire.
"Competitors are swarming into the market place," Adler said. "We have to be very strong around helping people understand what is happening."
Adler said the change was not "cost-related" and he saw little overlap between the editorial resources of the company's businesses that serve professionals and the news agency.
"My biggest hope and goal for him is we maximize the amount of time and resource that truly goes to journalistic excellence," Tom Glocer, chief executive of Thomson Reuters, said in an interview.
He added, "Reuters developed its reputation when no one could do what we did. We should do that again." (Reporting by Kenneth Li and Jennifer Saba)