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What’s in a successful succession? Nonprofit news leaders on handing the reins to the next guard
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June 3, 2024, 1:45 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Hanaa' Tameez   |   June 3, 2024

Sally Buzbee is no longer the executive editor of the Washington Post after nearly three years on the job, the paper announced Sunday evening. She had been the first woman to hold that position at the paper.

The Post’s CEO and publisher William Lewis, who joined the publication in November, will replace Buzbee with former Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Matt Murray to lead the newsroom through the 2024 presidential election. Robert Winnett, deputy editor of The Telegraph Media Group, will take over after Murray. Lewis had previously worked with Murray when he was the publisher of the Wall Street Journal from 2014 to 2020, and with Winnett when he was the the editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Buzbee “told Post department heads late Sunday in a brief call that she had been presented with a reorganization plan that she didn’t want to be a part of, according to three people familiar with her remarks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak,” the Post’s media reporters wrote in their Monday morning story.

The leadership changes follow Lewis’ plan to restore the Post’s financial health. In late May, he told staff that the Post had lost $77 million in the last year and that its audience had decreased by 50% since 2020. “To speak candidly: We are in a hole, and we have been for some time,” Lewis told employees.

One of Lewis’ solutions is to create Politico Pro-esque premium subscription tiers to encourage more readers to pay at different price points, and creating options for one-time use payments like Apple Pay. Lewis’ “Build It” plan “highlights the need to move away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach and to create news for a broader range of readers and customers. This will focus more on video storytelling, embracing AI to help, and flexible payment methods,” per the Post’s own press release.

The news division will be restructured into three separate “newsrooms”: the first will house regular news content, the second for opinion, and the third will focus on “service and social media journalism and run separately from the core news operation. The aim is to give the millions of Americans — who feel traditional news is not for them but still want to be kept informed — compelling, exciting and accurate news where they are and in the style that they want.” Murray will lead this third newsroom after the election.

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