Many are saying that the Post took a turn for the worse when its executive editor, Marty Baron, stepped down in February 2021 and his successor, Sally Buzbee, took over in June. Insiders are worrying that the paper is lost at sea.
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The Washington Post, a once-thriving newspaper known for taking down presidents and exposing government corruption, is now in a “rut,” as one former employee put it.
Fox News Digital spoke with five current and former Post employees, many echoing a similar theme that The Post took a turn for the worse when its executive editor Marty Baron stepped down in February 2021 and his successor Sally Buzbee took over that June.
It was reported last year that the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” paper was “on pace to lose money” in 2022. And turmoil erupted at an employee town hall in December when publisher Fred Ryan announced there would be layoffs in the first quarter of 2023 without offering details as to who would be affected. While many were relieved it wasn’t worse – the paper cut 20 jobs in January rather than the hundreds originally feared – the leadership’s handling of the situation disappointed rank-and-file staffers.
The Post, like many media companies, has had its financial ups and downs over the years, but what is unprecedented is the exodus that has taken place among both executives and journalists over the past year.
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It was announced earlier this week that The Post’s chief revenue officer Joy Robins was joining competitor The New York Times as its global chief advertising officer.
Robins is the latest of several C-suite executives to have recently parted ways with The Post including chief information officer Shailesh Prakash, chief product officer Kat Downs Mulder, communications chief Kristine Coratti Kelly, communications VP Shani George and audience development chief Beth Diaz.
The floodgates have also opened among its star talent. The Post lost reporters David Fahrenthold, Eli Saslow, Dave Weigel, Karoun Demirjian, Paul Sonne, Robert Samuels and Max Bearak, media columnist Margaret Sullivan, veteran editors Tracy Grant and Steven Ginsberg, and book critic Carlos Lozada.
Additionally, Post columnist Jonathan Capehart stepped down from the paper’s editorial aboard in February over an apparent discrepancy he had with a published piece, leaving the board without any members of color (Capehart remains with the paper as a writer and host of a weekly podcast).
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I’m sorry to see this. Demise of hard-copy newspapers has long been predicted. The genre sits between the short-form immediacy of the internet and the long-form analysis of printed books. Milennials especially may have abandoned it for the i-phone.