Washington Post Names Outsider as Its Top Editor
The Washington Post has named Marcus W. Brauchli, a former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, as its executive editor, the paper announced Monday. The appointment comes as a new publisher, Katharine Weymouth, puts her stamp on one of the nation’s great newspapers.
The Post’s current executive editor, Leonard Downie Jr., had said that he would step aside in September.
The ascension of Mr. Brauchli, 47, to replace Mr. Downie, 66, continues a sharp generational shift at The Post. Ms. Weymouth, 42, took over as publisher in February, and is considered the probable successor to her uncle, Donald E. Graham, 63, as chairman of The Washington Post Company.
The second-ranking editor, Phillip Bennett, who has the title of managing editor, will report to Mr. Brauchli. He had been a candidate for the top job.
Mr. Brauchli, who spent most of his career as an editor and overseas correspondent at The Journal, will take over a newspaper that, like most in the industry, has been hit hard by falling ad revenue and circulation. More than 100 newsroom employees recently accepted a buyout at The Post, whose news staff has declined from more than 900 early in this decade to about 700, and several Post executives say they expect the newsroom to shrink further in the next few years.
At the same time, The Post is trying to merge its print and online news operations, to eliminate duplication and turf wars — a task that is said to be among Ms. Weymouth’s highest priorities.
Mr. Brauchli became the managing editor of The Journal, which is the paper’s highest editorial position, in May 2007. It was taken over in December by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and Mr. Murdoch and the publisher he installed, Robert Thomson, made an array of changes in the organization and content of The Journal. Mr. Brauchli resigned under pressure in April, and Mr. Thomson took his place.