Updated Jun 2, 2024 - Business

Sally Buzbee steps down as Washington Post executive editor

 Executive Editor of the Washington Post Sally Buzbee speaks during the Washington Post Global Women's Summit at the newspaper's headquarters on November 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee during a 2022 event at the newspaper's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee has stepped down from her position, the news outlet announced Sunday.

Why it matters The first woman to lead the newsroom in the Post's 144-year history is leaving as the news outlet prepares for a shakeup of newsroom operations.

Catch up quick: Buzbee came to the Post as executive editor in 2021, replacing longtime newsroom leader Marty Barron.

  • The Post won six Pulitzers during Buzbee's three years as executive editor, but her tenure was marred by reports of tension between her and the Post's former chief executive and publisher, Fred Ryan.
  • Ryan stepped down last year, and was replaced by former News Corp. executive Will Lewis.

Driving the news: Effective immediately, Buzbee will be replaced by Matt Murray, former editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal.

  • Murray will take over the role until the 2024 U.S presidential election, after which he will move to lead a new newsroom division focused on social and service journalism, the newspaper said in a statement.
  • That division will aim to serve audiences who want to stay informed, but feel disengaged from traditional news.
  • Robert Winnett, deputy editor of the Telegraph Media Group, will replace Murray as leader of the paper's core newsroom, via a newly created role of Editor at The Washington Post.
  • He will be responsible for overseeing the Post's core coverage areas, "including politics, investigations, business, technology, sports and features," the Post said.

Zoom out: The new structure divides the Post's editorial unit into three divisions: core news, social and service journalism and opinions.

  • The leaders of all three units, including Opinion editor David Shipley, will report to the Post's CEO Will Lewis.
  • "By creating three, strong, journalism functions — Core, Service/Social and Opinions — we are taking a definitive step away from the 'one size fits all' approach and moving towards meeting our audiences where they are," Lewis said in a statement.

The big picture: The changes come amid a broader strategy shift being championed by Lewis, who started as CEO and publisher in January.

  • Lewis last week laid out his vision to put subscriptions at the center of the Post's business, but he didn't provide a clear picture of the company's plan to revamp its editorial offering to match its business ambitions.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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