Jan 26, 2021 - Economy

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post editor Marty Baron retires

marty baron

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post and recipient of multiple Pulitzer Prizes over the course of his career, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Sara Fischer: Baron spearheaded Spotlight, the Boston Globe's investigation into attempts by the Catholic Church to cover-up sexual abuse, and oversaw the Post's editorial transformation under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — turning it from a regional paper into a national brand.

What he's saying: "Almost two years ago, I told department heads that I was committed to staying at The Post through the presidential election. I left open what might happen beyond that. Today I am letting you know that I will retire on February 28," Baron wrote in a note to staff shared by the Post.

  • "I have worked in journalism without stop for nearly 45 years, leading magnificent news staffs in Miami, then Boston and now Washington, D.C., for 21. The stories over those years were epic," Baron wrote, pointing to coverage of the Bush-Gore race in 2000, former President Trump's dual impeachment trials, and 9/11, among others.
  • "The experience has been deeply meaningful, enriched by colleagues who made me a better professional and a better person. At age 66, I feel ready to move on."

Between the lines: Baron described 2013 — the year the Post announced digital subscription plans — as the year the paper was "given a second chance."

  • "In 2013, when our outlook was dire, we were given a second chance. We took it, engineering a turnaround with focus and creativity. Keep at it. Third chances are rare, particularly in a field that savagely punishes complacency and hubris," Baron wrote.
  • "The practice of quality journalism requires a sustainable business. And the reverse is equally true: There can be no business without journalism of the highest caliber that the public values and will support."
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