Cameron Barr Leaves Washington Post After Long Tenure as Managing Editor

From a Washington Post story by Elahe Izadi headlined “Cameron Barr to leave Washington Post after long tenure as managing editor”:

Cameron Barr, The Washington Post’s senior managing editor, will leave the company at the end of June, the paper announced Thursday, capping his tenure as one of the longest-serving managing editors in the paper’s history.

During a 19-year career at The Post, Barr helped oversee teams that won 12 Pulitzer Prizes. As managing editor for more than seven years, he oversaw much of the daily reporting produced by The Post.

Barr, 59, is moving with his wife to her native England, where he said he plans to return to writing, including in the essay and memoir form, away from the pressures of daily journalism, as well as taking on consulting and editing projects.

Barr said the timing of his departure was mostly personal, and “partly a desire to live a little bit differently, and also a desire to try and find my voice as a writer,” he said. “I’m thrilled by the prospect of doing that with my time.”

This year, The Post was awarded three Pulitzers and five finalist citations. “This newsroom is performing at an extremely high level,” he said. “So I think that allows me to leave on a high note with grace and dignity, which was always my goal. And I know The Post is in good hands.”

Barr leaves two years after Sally Buzbee became the paper’s new executive editor, a role he filled on an interim basis for three months after the departure of Martin Baron.

Buzbee said Barr “has brought impeccable judgment and a deeply principled approach to his work at The Post.” She also said he was “enormously generous in his help to me” after she joined the paper.

The Post’s masthead has seen substantial turnover since Buzbee’s appointment — not an uncommon occurrence with the arrival of a new executive editor — with only one of the four managing editors remaining from Baron’s tenure.

Barr came to The Post in 2004 after 14 years at the Christian Science Monitor, where he worked mostly as a foreign correspondent. He began as a reporter in The Post’s suburban Montgomery County bureau before moving into management, first as the editor overseeing Middle East coverage and eventually taking leadership of the sprawling National staff in 2013.

In his two years in that role, his reporters uncovered National Security Agency surveillance disclosures and failures within the U.S. Secret Service. He also oversaw the assembly of a massive new database to track fatal police shootings.

“You just feel like you always can sleep well at night if he’s in charge of something, whether that’s a project, or staff, or a big complex story,” said Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, who worked alongside Barr during his own years as both national and managing editor of The Post.

In December 2015, Baron tapped Barr as a managing editor after Merida left for ESPN.

It coincided with a tumultuous time for the media industry grappling with the unprecedented challenges of covering the political rise of Donald Trump. Barr told the New York Times in July 2015 that “we have to take seriously anyone who polls as seriously as he does among Republicans.”

During the campaign and into his years as president, Trump regularly lobbed attacks at the press, and at The Post specifically. On one occasion, a Trump official asked Barr to not print the fact that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to a Post reporter. Barr declined.

“He has a strong sense of story, he is dogged in pursuing stories, he pushes people to be ambitious in getting the facts and he also pushes them in being ambitious in how they present the facts,” Baron said.

Barr and another top editor at The Post, Steven Ginsberg, were both candidates to replace Baron, who retired in February 2021. Ginsberg left The Post last year to take the top job at the Athletic, a digital sports outlet owned by the New York Times.

Both men were also among several managers named as defendants in a discrimination lawsuit filed in 2021 by national reporter Felicia Sonmez. A judge dismissed the lawsuit last year.

Last year, Barr helped oversee a multipart series on the fentanyl crisis that was named a Pulitzer finalist for the prestigious public service gold medal.

Barr’s departure from the United States is a homecoming of sorts for him. He grew up overseas and lived in seven countries before graduating college.

“I will take with me a profound appreciation for the commitment of every Post journalist to hold power to account, to excavate the hidden truth, to tell stories in clever and compelling ways,” he said. “These goals have been our guide stars, regardless of the comings and goings of individual editors, and I know that this newsroom will continue to serve the public with fearlessness and distinction.”

Elahe Izadi is a reporter covering media and also co-hosts daily flagship podcast “Post Reports.” She joined The Post in 2014 as a general assignment reporter, and has covered pop culture, Congress, demographics and breaking news.

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