The Washington Post has named Sally Buzbee, who has spent her career at the Associated Press, as its next executive editor, succeeding Marty Baron.
Buzbee will be the first woman to lead the Post, which has nearly 1,000 employees in its newsroom.
She currently is the AP’s executive editor and senior vice president, and has been with the wire service since the start of her journalism career in 1988.
The announcement ends months of speculation over who would succeed Baron, credited with revitalizing the Post after he joined in 2013. He retired earlier this year, and publisher and CEO Fred Ryan conducted a 10-week search.
“Sally is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy, and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy,” Ryan wrote in a note to the staff. “She is an inspiring leader and accomplished journalist in the finest traditions of The Washington Post and her colleagues will benefit from her remarkable character.”
She will become executive editor on June 1. Cameron Barr, Post managing editor, has served as interim editor since Baron’s departure.
Ryan wrote that while they talked to journalists “of incredible accomplishment with well-deserved reputations for leadership,” Buzbee “stood out” among the candidates.
Before her current post at AP, Buzbee was the Washington bureau chief from 2010-2016, and previously served as Middle East regional editor based in Cairo. She also previously served as assistant bureau chief for news in Washington, and as a reporter In Kansas, Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington.
Buzbee’s appointment is the latest change at the top at a major big city publication. Last week, the Los Angeles Times named ESPN’s Kevin Merida as its next executive editor, succeeding Norman Pearlstine. Merida, former managing editor of the Post, was seen as a candidate in Ryan’s search as well.
This has been an unusually active time for turnover. Other major news organizations, including ABC News and CBS News, have tapped new leaders recently. MSNBC has a new president, Rashida Jones, and CNN’s Jeff Zucker announced plans to step down at the end of the year.
In contrast to the hollowing out of newsrooms across the country, the Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, has been expanding. Late last year, it announced plans for breaking news “hubs” in London and Seoul, allowing for original reporting and coverage in nighttime hours around the globe. It also announced that it was adding bureaus in Sydney and Bogotá.
Bezos interviewed Buzbee and a small group of other candidates last week, according to the Post.
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