OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 11/19/2012 By Mark Glaser & Courtney Lowery Cowgill

WashPo replaces Brauchli with Baron

In a move that Washington and media insiders say was coming for some time, but still took many by surprise, the Washington Post is replacing executive editor Marcus Brauchli with Boston Globe editor Martin Baron. Brauchli has been at the helm of the Post for the last four years – four years that were marked by big journalistic high points and tough challenges on the business side. As Christine Haughney notes in a New York Times story about the announcement, revenues at the paper’s publishing division were down by 4 percent in the third quarter, largely due to a drop in ad sales. Over the past several years, there have been buy-outs in the newsroom as well as layoffs in other departments, including advertising and technology. Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth stressed that it was Brauchli’s decision to move on.

And where he is moving is to the digital side of the organization. Brauchli will become vice president, working with chairman and chief executive, Donald Graham. Graham tells the New York Times, “It is raining startups and new-media projects and I’m in up to my neck, and Marcus and I are going to work on them together.” Brauchli tells the Wall Street Journal, “It made sense to make a change at this time. Don had an interesting job he wanted done.” According to Christine Haughney at the Times, Brauchli received a prolonged ovation in the newsroom after the announcement, crediting his staff with taking on the hardest targets in journalism and for becoming “pioneers in blogs and social media.” For his part, Baron has a strong journalistic resume and one built in a financially-strapped newsroom. He already took questions about cuts on the day of the announcement. He tells the Post’s own Steven Mufson, “The best I can do is work with the resources I’m provided. The resources will depend on the revenues of the company.” Weymouth said of Baron: “I’m not bringing in Marty to make cuts. I’m bringing him in because he’s a great editor. He’s coming to do great journalism.”