Washington Post picks ex-WSJ boss for editor
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Washington Post has named Marcus Brauchli, the former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, as its new executive editor, The Washington Post Co said on Monday.
Brauchli, 47, will oversee the operations of the Post and washingtonpost.com, a sign that the newspaper may be assuming more control over the website, which has been separately run. James Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com, will report to Brauchli, the Post said in a statement.
Brady was on vacation and not available for comment.
The newspaper, one of the largest dailies in the United States, has traditionally favored insiders who came up through the editorial ranks for its top editorial positions.
"Marcus has the ability to think strategically about our newsroom, about how to realign our resources in a way that is consistent with what readers want and expect and maintain the Post's first-rate journalism," Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth, 42, said in the statement.
Weymouth took over as publisher in February and is a likely successor to her uncle, Post company Chairman Donald Graham. Picking Brauchli is a clear sign that Weymouth is putting her own imprint on the Post as it strives to meet the needs of readers who are increasingly getting free news online.
Brauchli was managing editor of The Wall Street Journal until he resigned earlier this year to make way for new owner Rupert Murdoch's candidate. Murdoch's News Corp bought the Journal and parent company Dow Jones & Co last year.
In the past month, Post and Journal employees said that Brauchli was up for consideration as the Post's executive editor once Leonard Downie, Jr., the current executive editor at The Washington Post, retired.
The other front-runner, Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett, will report to Brauchli, according to a memo from Weymouth to Post employees, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. She wrote that Brauchli would meet the staff on Tuesday morning.
Downie, 66, announced his retirement in June, and plans to leave his position in September. He was the Post's most senior editor for 17 years.
Weymouth declined to comment, and a Post spokeswoman said Brauchli was not available for comment.
A 20-year veteran of the Journal, Brauchli was popular with the staff, but Murdoch wanted his longtime associate and new Journal publisher Robert Thomson to run the paper.
"It'll be different for the Post staff in that this is not somebody they know or for the most part they have worked with," independent newspaper analyst John Morton said. "Having an outside look at what you've been doing for 30 or 40 years can be helpful."
Weymouth faces the task of advancing the newspaper's Internet business, which could lead to merging its print and online operations. Brauchli dealt with similar issues at The Wall Street Journal.
The Post is based in Northwest Washington, D.C., but its online operations are across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. The separation of powers and duties has long caused friction between staffs.
For years, washingtonpost.com employees have been worried about their jobs if the main Post newsroom assumed control over the website. The website is part of the Post Co's digital unit, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.
Circulation at the Post, like most other U.S. newspapers, has been decreasing along with advertising revenue. The paper reported an 11 percent decline in quarterly ad revenue last May. More than 100 newsroom staff recently accepted buyouts, leaving about 700 newsroom employees at the paper.
(Editing by Gary Hill, Toni Reinhold)
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