In shakeup, Washington Post executive editor steps down

Sally Buzbee, Executive Editor, Washington Post, USA speaking in the Strategic Outlook: The Future of Global Operations session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 23 May 2022.World Economic Forum

The executive editor of the Washington Post, Sally Buzbee, has abruptly stepped down from the role, as the storied American newspaper undergoes a major restructuring, its chief executive said late Sunday.

Assuming the job in 2021, Buzbee was the first female editor of the Post in 150 years.

Her departure is part of the biggest move yet by publisher and CEO William Lewis since he took over in January, the newspaper said.

Matt Murray, the former editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, is assuming the executive editor position through November's US presidential election, according to Lewis.

There was no reason given for the departure of Buzbee, a former top editor of the Associated Press.

In an email to staff, Lewis said he aims to launch "a new division of the newsroom" this year.

The new operation will be separate from the traditional newsroom and the editorial/opinion division.

It will focus on "service and social media journalism", while making use of AI, Lewis said in his message to staff.

Murray will oversee the new division after the election, according to Lewis, while "core coverage areas" such as politics, business and features will be overseen by Robert Winnett, a veteran of Telegraph Media Group.

Lewis recently acknowledged major losses for the Washington Post over the past year, amounting to some $77 million, and cost-cutting efforts included buyout offers for hundreds of staffers in late 2023.

The paper said that in recent months Lewis has also hired other former Dow Jones colleagues into key Post corporate positions.

The controlling shareholder of Dow Jones and the Journal is Rupert Murdoch, whose family also controls Fox Corporation which runs Fox News.