Jeff Bezos hails 'exceptional, tenacious industry executive' in naming former Murdoch lieutenant as new Washington Post CEO

Jeff Bezos hails 'exceptional, tenacious industry executive' in naming former Murdoch lieutenant as new Washington Post CEO

The Washington Post has named veteran media executive Will Lewis to serve as its new CEO and publisher.

Lewis is joining the newspaper at a moment when one of the American news industry’s most storied outlets is struggling against the economic headwinds facing U.S. media companies. News of Lewis’ appointment was announced by the Post on Saturday.

The Post went through rounds of layoffs late last year and in early 2023, and saw cutbacks including the ending of its Sunday magazine. The pandemic and inflation have sorely impacted the news industry, and the Post announced last month that it plans to cut 240 jobs across the newspaper through the offering of voluntary buyouts. In July, The New York Times reported that The Post is on track to lose about $100 million this year.

Lewis is currently the founder, CEO and publisher of The News Movement, a social-first media business targeting a Gen Z audience. He served as CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal from 2014 to 2020, and was chief creative officer of News Corp. and group general manager for News Corp. in the United Kingdom. Lewis also did a stint as editor-in-chief of London’s Daily Telegraph.

He will assume the role at the Post effective Jan. 2, succeeding interim CEO Patty Stonesifer, who came on when Fred Ryan stepped down earlier this year after nearly a decade in the job.

“The Washington Post is a premier global media publisher of record, known for its 145-year-old history of unflinching journalism, and I am thrilled and humbled to be at its helm as both a media executive and former reporter,” Lewis said in a statement. “Leading this bold media brand means building on my commitment to championing high-quality journalism and safeguarding our democratic values, while growing The Post’s business and advancing its impact to the next generation and beyond.”

The newspaper’s owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said he was “confident in that future knowing it is in the hands of Will, an exceptional, tenacious industry executive whose background in fierce, award-winning journalism makes him the right leader at the right time,.”

Ryan, the former CEO and founder of Politico, had presided over explosive growth during Donald Trump’s presidency, but could not avert the effects of the industry’s downturn over the past two years. Stonesifer was formerly chief executive of the Gates Foundation and a member of the Amazon board.

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