WaPo Executive Editor Steps Down, Publisher Warns Staff, ‘People Are Not Reading Your Stuff’
Washington, DC - May 6 : Phil Rucker, Matea Gold, Sally Buzbee, and David Shipley listen as others speak with the staff of The Washington Post via Getty Images as they learn they have won three 2024 Pulitzer Prizes during a newsroom gathering in Washington, DC on Monday, May 06, 2024.
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The left-wing Washington Post is undergoing major changes as its executive editor, Sally Buzbee, stepped down after three years of directing the newspaper’s coverage.

Buzbee’s sudden departure was discussed in a meeting with WaPo staff where publisher and CEO William Lewis warned that the newspaper is “losing large amounts of money” and struggling to maintain readership, the Post reported. In a heated exchange with a staffer, Lewis reportedly said that “decisive” and “urgent” changes are needed in the newsroom.

“We are going to turn this thing around, but let’s not sugarcoat it. It needs turning around,” he said, according to the Post. “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. Right. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore.”

Similar to other left-wing outlets and cable news channels, the Post’s audience size jumped while Donald Trump was in office, reaching 101 million unique visitors a month in 2020, according to the Associated Press. But that number dropped to 50 million at the end of last year as the Post reported $77 million in losses for 2023.

Matt Murray, the former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, will replace Buzbee as executive editor through the 2024 presidential election. Lewis previously worked with Murray at the Journal. The former Journal editor-in-chief told WaPo staff that he wants to focus on pushing forward instead of “managing decline.”

“I’ve been in the business long enough, and I’ve done enough things that I’m not interested at this point in managing decline,” Murray said. “I’m interested in the future and growth … This is going to be an exciting time. We’re going to have a lot of new opportunities and new things.”

After the election, Robert Winnett, the deputy editor of the Telegraph Media Group, will take over the leadership role for the Post’s core news beats, including politics, investigations, business, technology, sports, and features. Murray will then shift to overseeing a new company division that Lewis is calling the “third newsroom,” but details about the new division remain unclear.

Lewis has previously said he wants to focus on moving beyond a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for the Post in an effort to reach more readers. The Post has been routinely criticized, especially by conservatives, for showing a clear Left-wing bent. The newspaper, which has made a habit of publishing negative coverage of Trump and other Republicans, placed the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” beneath its logo on its website just a month after Trump took office in 2017. The newspaper said, however, that the slogan was adopted “long before Trump was the Republican presidential nominee.”


The Post is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who purchased the newspaper in 2013. Bezos condemned Trump’s remarks about the media in 2018, saying, “It is a mistake for any elected official in my opinion … to attack media and journalists. I believe that it’s an essential component of our democracy.”

“What the president should say is, ‘This is right. This is good. I am glad I am getting scrutinized,’” Bezos added. “But it’s really dangerous to demonize the media. It’s dangerous to call the media lowlifes. It’s dangerous to say they’re the ‘enemy of the people.’”

Just a couple of months before Bezos made those remarks, Trump slammed the Post and its connection to the Amazon owner, tweeting, “In my opinion the Washington Post is nothing more than an expensive (the paper loses a fortune) lobbyist for Amazon. Is it used as protection against antitrust claims which many feel should be brought?”

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