The Washington Post has enlisted the expertise of Will Lewis, a seasoned media executive and former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, as its new CEO and publisher. The appointment comes as the publication faces a decline in audience and recent job cuts.
A Respected Media Executive Takes the Helm
Will Lewis, a British-born executive with an extensive background in media, will now lead The Washington Post. Lewis previously served as the CEO of Dow Jones and was the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. He also ventured into the realm of start-ups, focusing on providing news for young people.
Years of Experience in Journalism and Management
Beginning his career as a reporter, Lewis quickly transitioned into management roles. He worked at the Daily Telegraph in England before spending a decade with News Corp under the leadership of Rupert Murdoch. With his diverse experience in both reporting and executive positions, Lewis brings a unique perspective to his new role at The Washington Post.
Facing Economic Challenges Amidst a Changing Landscape
While The Washington Post experienced a surge in popularity during the Trump administration, it has garnered attention for its recent economic struggles — a common theme among news organizations. The publication has undergone rounds of layoffs, discontinued its Sunday magazine, and recently offered buyouts to staff members.
Establishing a Vision for Success
In a news release, Lewis expressed his enthusiasm and humility in leading The Washington Post as an experienced media executive and former reporter. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has been the owner of The Post since 2013, conveyed his confidence in Lewis, emphasizing his passion for journalism and ability to drive financial success. Bezos believes that together they will shape a prosperous future for The Washington Post.
As The Washington Post seeks to regain its footing in a challenging media landscape, it turns to Will Lewis to provide the tenacity, energy, and vision necessary for success.
The Washington Post Appoints a New CEO
The Washington Post has announced that Lewis will be taking over as the new CEO, effective from January 2nd. He will be succeeding Stonesifer, who stepped in after Fred Ryan resigned earlier this year. Prior to this role, Stonesifer served as the Chief Executive of the Gates Foundation and a member of the Amazon board.
Under the leadership of Sally Buzbee, the executive editor, The Post newsroom has established itself as a renowned publication. However, experts believe that in order to truly stand out, The Post needs to identify its unique strengths and become indispensable in its offerings.
Journalism professor Tom Rosenstiel from the University of Maryland suggests that The Post should focus on areas where it can carve out a niche instead of directly competing with The New York Times. The Times has successfully expanded in the digital realm, with popular features like Wirecutter and various games. Therefore, The Post could concentrate on areas like investigative reporting and leverage its recently revived Style brand.
Before joining The Journal, Lewis held key positions at Murdoch's News Corp., including Chief Creative Officer and Group General Manager for the company in the United Kingdom. He is also known for his close association with former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Rosenstiel emphasizes that Lewis should prioritize proving his journalistic capabilities to The Washington Post team and demonstrate that he is a journalist first and a political figure second.
Aside from his role at The Washington Post, Lewis is currently the Founder, CEO, and Publisher of The News Movement. This social-first media business targets a Generation Z audience. In addition, Lewis serves as the Vice Chair of the Associated Press (AP) board of directors, and The Post acknowledges his track record of successfully building digital subscriptions during his time at The Journal.
By appointing Lewis, The Washington Post aims to capitalize on his experience in digital media and ability to attract young audiences, which has become crucial for the growth of the news industry. The appointment reflects The Post's dedication to adapting to the ever-changing media landscape and further expanding its digital reach.