Washington Post Expands Roles of Three Top Editors

From a Washington Post story by Paul Farhi headlined “Washington Post expands roles of 3 top editors in first major changes under new executive editor”:

The Washington Post will promote two veteran editors to new senior roles and will expand the responsibilities of a third top editor as part of a realignment of the newsroom’s management, executive editor Sally Buzbee said.

The appointments are the first major management changes under Buzbee, who took over leadership of The Post at the end of May after the retirement of her predecessor, Martin Baron….

Buzbee has elevated Cameron Barr, currently managing editor for news and features, to a new position, senior managing editor, effectively making him the second-in-command in the newsroom’s hierarchy. Barr, who joined The Post in 2004 and became a managing editor in 2015, will have overall responsibility for The Post’s daily online and print editions, reporting to Buzbee.

Kat Downs Mulder, currently managing editor for digital, will add the title of chief product officer, with responsibility for audio and visual journalism as well as some aspects of the company’s engineering and technology work. Downs Mulder will run the development teams for The Post’s website, apps, subscriptions and internal tools. In an unusual hybrid role, she will report jointly to Buzbee and Shailesh Prakash, the chief information officer of the company, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

In addition, Krissah Thompson, named The Post’s first managing editor for diversity and inclusion last year, will add responsibility for climate and environmental coverage, features reporting and recruitment.

In an interview, Buzbee said the new alignment was a “distillation” of conversations she’s had with newsroom employees as well as her observation of the newspaper’s operations since she arrived from the Associated Press.

The new structure was also driven by the newsroom’s rapid growth over the past few years, she said. With the announcement last month that The Post will hire 41 new assignment and assistant editors, the newsroom will employ about 1,050 journalists, a 50 percent increase since 2016.

Four other senior positions remain in flux. Buzbee plans to fill an opening for a fourth managing editor to supervise a broad portfolio of topics, including politics and government, health and science, national security, and the metro and sports staffs. And three deputy managing editor positions are open: two on the daily news side and a third that will be posted soon to oversee budget, administrative issues and newsroom standards.

Tracy Grant, named a managing editor under Baron in 2018, had handled the latter responsibilities, but she will leave her position and become a writer for the newspaper….

In addition to the growth of its staff, the management changes align with the launch of news “hubs” in London and Seoul. The hubs have their own complement of reporters, visual journalists and editors to that will enable The Post to track, report and edit the news round-the-clock, with each newsroom handing off primary responsibilities for daily coverage of the news roughly every eight hours….

Most of the newspaper’s journalists haven’t returned to its newsroom in downtown Washington since the start of the pandemic early last year. The organization has required all employees to be vaccinated for a full return to the newsroom, currently set for January.

Paul Farhi is The Washington Post’s media reporter. He started at The Post in 1988 and has been a financial reporter, a political reporter and a Style reporter.

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