Marty Baron

In news that won’t come as a surprise to most media watchers, The Washington Post’s Marty Baron is retiring.

The longtime executive editor of the paper, which is now owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, informed staffers Tuesday that he would step down at the end of February after eight years at the helm and 45 years in journalism. His retirement had been rumored for some time, but he had agreed to stay on throughout the presidential election.

“From the moment I arrived at The Post, I have sought to make an enduring contribution while giving back to a profession that has meant so much to me and that serves to safeguard democracy. It has been my honor to work alongside hundreds of journalists who make The Post an indispensable institution,” he wrote in the staff memo.

Shortly afterward, Bezos took to Instagram to thank Baron for his time at The Post. “Our success these past several years would not and simply could not  have happened without you. You leave behind a newsroom that is bigger and stronger and more thoughtful than ever. You led with integrity, always — even when it was exhausting (which it often was).”

Baron joined The Post in 2013 from The Boston Globe, where he was editor in chief. He began his career at The Miami Herald and has also worked at The Los Angeles Times. He leaves at a time of international expansion as The Post, which has around 3 million digital subscribers, plans to add a total of 150 jobs this year, recently advertising new breaking news jobs in London and Seoul.

Management has yet to reveal Baron’s successor, which will no doubt send media gossip circles into overdrive speculating on who that could be.

Of its search for a successor, Washington Post publisher and chief executive officer Fred Ryan said: “Marty has been thoughtful in his planning, which has allowed us to carefully discuss the timing of his retirement as well as the selection of a worthy successor. Please know that I view this as one of the most consequential responsibilities I will have as your publisher. The search will be a broad and inclusive one, considering both outstanding internal candidates as well as journalists at other publications with the vision and ability to build upon Marty’s success.”

Baron’s departure opens up yet another top job at a leading American newspaper. The Los Angeles Times continues to search for a new top editor following the decision by Norman Pearlstine to step down. Meanwhile, speculation is swirling over the future of Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, who will turn 65 in September.

 

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