The Washington Post has a new executive editor, replacing Marty Baron: it’s Sally Buzbee, formerly in the same role at the Associated Press.
Buzbee, 55, was previously the AP Washington bureau chief and before that Middle East editor, in an AP career stretching back to 1988.
The Post had been under pressure to avoid picking another white man. Cameron Barr and Steven Ginsburg, deputies to Baron, were reportedly among contenders to succeed him. Kevin Merida, an African American editor once of the Post but who moved to ESPN, was widely discussed but was named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times earlier this month.
The widely revered Baron led the Post from 2013, guiding a resurgence under the ownership of the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. Baron retired earlier this year at age 66. He is now working on a book about Trump, Bezos and the future of journalism. The Guardian understands the price tag for Baron’s book reached $1m.
Bezos, the richest man in the world, interviewed candidates in Washington last week. But Buzbee may find him to be a hands-off boss.
In March, Baron told the Guardian: “I don’t talk to him that much, to tell you the truth – hardly ever. It’s not like we have one-on-one conversations with any frequency whatsoever.
“He’s got a bunch of other interests. I’m sure he reads us closely but he just doesn’t get involved in the day-to-day of our newsroom. He has not questioned anything that we’ve written about Amazon or about him at all.”
On Tuesday Fred Ryan, the Post’s publisher and chief executive, said: “In an extensive search that included many of the best journalists in America, Sally stood out as the right person to lead the Post going forward. She is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy.”
In a statemen, Buzbee said she had been ‘blessed to have one of the best jobs in journalism, and I’m excited to take on a whole new challenge.
“The Post has a strong legacy, a committed staff, and is doing some of the most innovative work to engage new audiences.”