“The Article Is Looking for a Journalistic Unicorn”: Inside the Confounding Research for Marty Baron’s Successor

It is been nearly a month given that Marty Baron’s exit from The Washington Post,

It is been nearly a month given that Marty Baron’s exit from The Washington Post, which observed a return to its glory days under his eight-year editorship, and the lookup for a successor is heating up. A shorter checklist of candidates has begun to flow into. Insiders are gaming out who of all those they consider would be potent, who they think would be a oversight, who they assume appears the most plausible, and so on. But there’s a single person who, barring some flip of gatherings, is unquestionably not likely to be the Article’s next govt editor, and that is turning out to be the most significant head-scratcher of the succession course of action so considerably.

In late January, when Baron introduced his programs to retire, Kevin Merida’s title instantly entered the bloodstream, with one particular supply telling me he was “widely considered as the exterior favourite.” Merida worked at the Post for 22 decades till 2015, when he joined the Walt Disney Corporation, getting to be a senior vice president at ESPN as properly as editor in chief of The Undefeated. Alas, now that the research is in comprehensive swing, Merida is not in the combine. This has produced a little bit of consternation.

Here’s what I discovered from people today with knowledge of the make any difference. Merida was inspired to apply for the work, but he wasn’t exactly courted, at least not in the way 1 may possibly have predicted specified all the containers he appears to tick off: large knowledge at the Publish and support from previous colleagues stewardship of an impressive electronic start out-up inside a major media corporation distinguished journalist of color. The Los Angeles Times, which is a couple of months into its personal hunt for an govt editor, has vigorously pursued Merida from the outset, and Disney has evidently manufactured it apparent that it does not want to lose him to either newspaper. The Submit, on the other hand, has been shockingly “passive,” as a person source put it, and Merida resolved not to enter the formal application method.

In just the newsroom there is a wish for additional insight into publisher Fred Ryan’s thinking. On March 9, the union sent a letter to Ryan, signed by some 200 people, requesting an “interactive forum with newsroom personnel so we can talk to you queries and present perception into the attributes we hope to see in our new government editor.” (That request has so considerably not been granted.) The letter also mentioned that “there is however a lot of operate to do in earning our newsroom a lot more equitable and numerous…Earlier mentioned all, we hope that you and Publish proprietor Jeff Bezos will solicit and significantly think about views from personnel all through the company on the characteristics and eyesight our next executive editor ought to deliver to the career.”

As I earlier described, Ryan has reported he’s wanting for an individual who could steer the newsroom for at minimum a 10 years. (Merida is 64, which could or may well not make clear why the Post isn’t wooing him.) Over and above that, it is extra or significantly less a black box. But even a black box is not impervious to gossip, and the rumor is that there are a 50 percent dozen or so candidates believed to be less than significant thought. I can validate the names of some of the people today who have had at minimum preliminary discussions with administration about the career, starting with two internal contenders: Cameron Barr, interim govt editor, and Steven Ginsberg, nationwide editor. Marc Lacey and Rebecca Blumenstein of The New York Times have each been scouted, according to persons common with the lookup, but it’s unclear if either will development to the upcoming phase. Two other names in circulation are Carolyn Ryan, a different editor on the Occasions masthead, and Susan Goldberg, editor of Countrywide Geographic, the parent entity of which counts Fred Ryan as a board member. Somebody with awareness of the choosing discussions claimed, “The Submit is hunting for a journalistic unicorn—an editor of Marty Baron’s stature, but 1 who has a passport with lots of far more stamps and who is significantly extra in contact with the journalists of tomorrow.”  

Term on the avenue is that Ryan will slim it down to a smaller handful of candidates who will then eventually satisfy with Bezos. Which brings us to a achievable wild card that some insiders have similarly been gabbing about. As 1 of them set it, “Something we never know is whether Bezos has his very own prospect.” The Submit declined to comment.

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