The Washington Post Names Will Lewis As Its Next Publisher And CEO

Business

The Washington Post has tapped Will Lewis as its next publisher and CEO, as the media outlet grapples with a revenue decline that has forced it to reduce its staff.

Lewis, who served as the CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal from 2014 to 2020, will start in his role on Jan. 2. He will succeed Patty Stonesifer, who has served as interim CEO in June after Fred Ryan announced his exit.

“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,” Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis most recently has been founder, CEO and publisher of The News Movement, which is aimed at providing non partisan news to Gen Z. He also has served as chief creative officer of News Corp. and Group General Manager for News Corp in the United Kingdom, as well as editor of The Daily Telegraph.

Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post, said in a statement, “Today, I stand 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.”

Like much of the rest of media, The Post has had to grapple with a softer ad market and a drop in web traffic.

According to The New York Times, the Post’s revenue was expected to fall by $100 million in 2023. Stonesifer recently announced plans to offer staff buyouts as part of a plan to reduce staff by 240. She cited overly optimistic projections for advertising, web traffic and subscriptions.

“Our core products and many of our recent investments show great promise — and we all believe the growth we saw in 2016 to 2021 will be ours again if we prioritize and plan appropriately,” Stonesifer wrote in a memo to employees last month. “But the urgent need to invest in our top growth priorities brought us to the difficult conclusion that we need to adjust our cost structure now.”

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