Will Lewis Named C.E.O. of the Washington Put up

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Will Lewis, the previous Dow Jones chief govt and writer of The Wall Avenue Journal, would be the subsequent chief govt of The Washington Put up.

The Put up confirmed Mr. Lewis’s appointment in a quick assertion on Saturday night after The New York Instances first reported it.

The Put up’s assertion included a remark from Mr. Lewis, who will begin within the job on Jan. 2. “The Washington Put up is a premier world media writer of file, identified for its 145-year-old historical past of unflinching journalism, and I’m thrilled and humbled to be at its helm as each a media govt and former reporter,” he stated.

Within the assertion, Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and proprietor of The Put up, reaffirmed his dedication to the publication, calling Mr. Lewis an “distinctive, tenacious trade govt.”

Mr. Bezos despatched an electronic mail to The Put up’s newsroom on Saturday night, a replica of which was shared with The Instances, saying that he had been drawn to Mr. Lewis’s “love of journalism and keenness for driving monetary success.”

Mr. Lewis, 54, a British-born former journalist who was the editor of The Every day Telegraph earlier than turning into a information govt, has spent greater than 15 years as a frontrunner at main information organizations. Most not too long ago, he co-founded The Information Motion, a start-up aimed toward younger information customers.

Mr. Bezos has appointed Mr. Lewis at a pivotal time for the information group. The Put up, which is on a tempo to lose $100 million this 12 months, has struggled to develop its digital subscription enterprise within the years since President Donald J. Trump left workplace.

The newsroom can also be gearing as much as cowl the 2024 presidential election, an important story for a paper that prioritizes political reporting. Mr. Trump, a frequent critic of each Mr. Bezos and The Put up, figures to play a outstanding function within the race.

Fred Ryan, the earlier writer and chief govt at The Put up, introduced in June that he was stepping down after practically 10 years within the function. He presided over a surge in digital subscriptions and an growth of the newsroom. However lately, the subscriber development misplaced momentum, dropping to 2.5 million paid subscribers in contrast with roughly three million in 2020. The Put up misplaced cash final 12 months, after years of profitability.

Within the waning years of his tenure, Mr. Ryan met with frustration amongst many Put up executives, who felt he was presiding over a stultified enterprise tradition on the newspaper. He additionally clashed with Sally Buzbee, the manager editor, over a personnel subject, and his exit was considered throughout the newsroom as a victory for Ms. Buzbee.

Since Mr. Ryan’s departure, the corporate has been run by Patty Stonesifer, a member of Amazon’s board and a confidante of Mr. Bezos. Ms. Stonesifer advised the newsroom in June that she anticipated to be within the function for six months to a 12 months because the seek for a everlasting chief govt was underway and promised that there can be no layoffs.

However Ms. Stonesifer later admitted that her assertion on job cuts had been “naïve” and stated in an electronic mail to the newsroom final month that projections for visitors, subscription and promoting development had been “overly optimistic.” She advised workers that consequently The Put up would lower about 240 jobs throughout the group by a buyout program.

The appointment of Mr. Lewis comes after a monthslong recruiting course of run by Ms. Stonesifer, who tapped the recruiting agency Sucherman to judge candidates. In current weeks, The Washington Put up or Sucherman reached out to quite a few high figures within the trade, in accordance with a number of folks conversant in the discussions. The folks included Josh Steiner, a member of the board of administrators at Bloomberg LP; Evan Smith, the previous chief govt of The Texas Tribune; Nicholas Thompson, the chief govt of The Atlantic; Goli Sheikholeslami, the chief govt of Politico; and Craig Forman, a former chief govt of the McClatchy newspaper chain.

Puck earlier reported that Mr. Lewis was a number one finalist to be chief govt of The Washington Put up.

Previously a reporter for The Monetary Instances, Mr. Lewis rose by the modifying ranks to develop into editor in chief of the Telegraph Media Group, proprietor of The Every day Telegraph. In 2010, Mr. Lewis joined Information UK, a part of the empire based by the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

There, he was a part of the manager crew charged with cleansing up a phone-hacking and police bribery scandal that led to the closing of Mr. Murdoch’s Information of the World tabloid.

After being appointed chief govt of Dow Jones, the guardian of The Wall Avenue Journal and Barron’s, in 2014, Mr. Lewis oversaw a interval of digital subscription development. On the finish of Mr. Lewis’s tenure in 2020, The Journal had greater than two million digital subscribers, up from roughly 700,000 when he began.

At The Journal, Mr. Lewis adopted a private contact to his interactions with the newsroom. He was identified to succeed in out to some journalists with transient emails expressing assist for his or her work.

The Information Motion, the start-up he has run since 2021, publishes movies about present occasions on common social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube and has partnered with organizations together with The Related Press. The corporate has raised $15 million from backers together with the British newspaper writer Nationwide World, and not too long ago acquired the political information start-up The Recount.

Mr. Lewis was knighted this 12 months by King Charles III for “political and public service,” on the advice of Boris Johnson, the previous British prime minister whom he had informally suggested. Mr. Lewis can also be one of many suitors for The Telegraph Group, his former employer: He advised Bloomberg in September that he had lined up monetary backing.

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