The Washington Post (WPO:US) named the Boston Globe’s Marty Baron as its next executive editor, replacing Marcus Brauchli, who will take a vice president job at the Post’s parent company.
Baron, who served as editor of the Boston Globe for more than 11 years, will take the new position on Jan. 2, the Post said today in a statement. Baron had previously worked at the New York Times (NYT:US), Los Angeles Times and Miami Herald.
“Marty is the right person to carry on the legacy of Ben Bradlee and Len Downie and Marcus Brauchli,” said Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth, citing Baron’s predecessors in the job. “He has a phenomenal record of producing the highest quality journalism that’s essential to the Post.”
The paper won four Pulitzer Prizes and increased Web traffic under Brauchli, though the Post lost print circulation and advertising revenue -- part of a broader industry slump. Weekday circulation at the paper fell 8.9 percent to 462,228 over a six-month period ended Sept. 30, while the Sunday edition dropped 20 percent to 674,751, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Brauchli and Weymouth had clashed in recent months over budgetary concerns, said a person with knowledge of the situation. Weymouth wanted to make larger newsroom cuts in an effort to narrow losses at the paper, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks were private.
Weymouth declined to comment on any specific discussions with Brauchli. “There’s a natural tension between any publisher and editor, but Marcus has been a tremendous partner,” she said in an interview.
Brauchli didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In his new role, Brauchli will work with Chief Executive Officer Don Graham to study new-media opportunities at Washington Post Co., a company that includes print media, television and online-education businesses.
Shares of the company (WPO:US) have declined 10 percent this year, compared with a 9.3 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The stock was little changed today, closing at $338 in New York.
Baron, meanwhile, plans to spend his first few weeks in the job talking to newsroom employees to see where he can help expand and improve coverage.
“I need to spend time with staff taking the measure of what has been done and of what can be done,” Baron said in an interview. “The entire newspaper industry, of course, is under pressure.”
Baron said he’s optimistic about the Post’s financial prospects, especially because of its role covering politics in the U.S. capital.
“The Post does really ambitious journalism and great investigations,” he said. “That’s important to readers.”
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