Will Lewis, former Dow Jones CEO and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, will be the next CEO of The Washington Post.
The Post confirmed Mr. Lewis’ appointment in a brief statement Saturday evening after The New York Times first reported it.
The Post’s statement included a comment from Mr Lewis, who will start in the job on January 2. “The Washington Post is a premier global media publisher with a 145-year history of journalism, and I am thrilled and humbled to lead it as both a media executive and former reporter,” he said.
In the statement, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Post, reiterated his commitment to the publication, calling Mr. Lewis an “extraordinary, tenacious industry executive.”
Mr. Bezos sent an email to The Post’s newsroom Saturday evening, a copy of which was shared with The Times, saying he was drawn to Mr. Lewis’ “love of journalism and passion for driving financial success.”
Mr Lewis, 54, a British-born former journalist who was editor of the Daily Telegraph before becoming a news executive, spent more than 15 years as a leader of major news organizations. Most recently, he co-founded news movementA start-up targeting young news consumers.
Mr. Bezos appointed Mr. Lewis at a critical time for the news agency. The Post, which is on pace to lose $100 million this year, President Donald J. Trump has struggled to grow his digital subscription business in the years since he left office
The newsroom is also gearing up to cover the 2024 presidential election, an important story for a paper that prioritizes political reporting. Mr. Trump, a frequent critic of both Mr. Bezos and The Post, could play a prominent role in the contest.
Fred Ryan, the previous publisher and chief executive of The Post, announced in June that he was stepping down after nearly 10 years in the role. He presided over digital subscription growth and newsroom expansion. But in recent years, subscriber growth has lost momentum, falling to 2.5 million paying subscribers in 2020, compared to about 3 million. The Post lost money last year after several years of gains.
In the waning years of his tenure, Mr. Ryan was met with dismay among many Post executives, who felt he was presiding over a volatile business culture at the newspaper. He clashed with executive editor Sally Buzbee over a personnel issue, and his departure was seen in the newsroom as a victory for Miss Buzbee.
Since Mr. Ryan’s departure, the company has been run by Patty Stonecipher, an Amazon board member and confidant of Mr. Bezos. Ms Stonecipher told newsrooms in June that she expected to remain in the role for six months to a year as the search for a permanent chief executive continued and promised there would be no layoffs.
But Ms. Stonecipher later admitted that her statement about job cuts was “naïve” and said in an email to the newsroom last month that projections for traffic, subscription and advertising growth were “overly optimistic.” He told employees that as a result Post would cut about 240 jobs across the organization through a buyout program.
Mr. After a month-long recruitment process conducted by Stonecipher, Mr. The hiring came from Lewis, who tapped recruiting firm Sucherman to evaluate candidates. In recent weeks, either the Washington Post or Sucherman has reached out to numerous top people in the industry, according to several people familiar with the discussions. People included Bloomberg LP board member Josh Steiner; Evan Smith, former chief executive of the Texas Tribune; Nicholas Thompson, CEO of Atlantic; Politico Chief Executive Goli Sheikholeslami; and Craig Forman, former chief executive of the McClatchy newspaper chain.
Cook first Report That Mr. Lewis was a leading finalist to become chief executive of the Washington Post.
Formerly a reporter at The Financial Times, Mr Lewis rose to an editing position and became editor-in-chief of Telegraph Media Group, owner of The Daily Telegraph. In 2010, Mr Lewis joined News UK, part of the empire founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
There, he was part of the executive team charged with cleaning up a phone-hacking and police bribery scandal that led to the closure of Mr Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid.
After being named chief executive of Dow Jones, parent of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, in 2014, Mr. Lewis oversaw a period of digital subscription growth. By the end of Mr. Lewis’ tenure in 2020, The Journal had more than two million digital subscribers, up from about 700,000 when he started.
At The Journal, Mr. Lewis took a personal touch in his interactions with the newsroom. He has been known to reach out to some journalists with short emails expressing support for their work.
The News Movement, the start-up he has run since 2021, publishes videos about current affairs on popular social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube and has partnered with organizations including the Associated Press. The company has raised $15 million from backers including British newspaper publisher National World and recently acquired political news start-up The Recount.
Mr. Lewis was Knighted Awarded this year by King Charles III for “political and public service”, on the recommendation of Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister whom he informally mentored. Mr Lewis is a suitor for The Telegraph Group, his former employer: He to say Bloomberg reported in September that he had lined up financial backing.