June 16th, 2024

Sally Buzbee steps down as executive editor of The Washington Post


By David Bauder, The Associated Press on June 2, 2024.

FILE - Sally Buzbee, then-senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, poses for a photo, Dec. 13, 2018, in New York. The Washington Post said Sunday, June 2, 2024, that Buzbee, its executive editor, has stepped down after three years at the top of one of journalism's most storied brands. (AP Photo/Chuck Zoeller, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – The Washington Post said Sunday that its executive editor, Sally Buzbee, has stepped down after three years at the top of one of journalism’s most storied brands.

She will be replaced by Matt Murray, former editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal, through this fall’s presidential election. Following that, Robert Winnett, currently deputy editor of the Telegraph Media Group, will take over as editor.

No reason was given for Buzbee’s departure. She wasn’t quoted in the news release announcing her departure and did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Post also announced Sunday that it was launching a new division in its newsroom dedicated to reaching audiences who want to pay for and consume news in a different way.

Buzbee, former top editor at The Associated Press, was selected as the Post’s top editor in May 2021. She replaced a storied predecessor, Martin Baron, after the Post exploded in popularity during the Trump administration.

Yet it has been a miserable few years financially for the news industry, including for the Post. It has bled subscribers, to the point where new publisher, Will Lewis, told employees last month that the newspaper lost $77 million last year.

“To speak candidly, we are in a hole, and have been for some time,” Lewis said, according to the Post.

Lewis was named late last year to replace Fred Ryan as Post publisher. He has worked at both The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph in England, the places he turned to find the new executives.

He’s talked about creating a multi-tier subscription plan for The Post, similar to that in place at Politico. In an email to employees late Sunday, Lewis said the new department will focus on more video storytelling, will embrace artificial intelligence and flexible payment methods. It will begin operation this fall, he said.

In an earlier meeting, “we highlighted the need to move away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach in the news media industry and focus on creating news for a broader range of readers and customers.”

The Post won three Pulitzer Prizes last month, including one in national reporting for a vivid series on the impact of the AR-15 rifle.

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