Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan steps down over ‘toxic’ politics

Fred Ryan’s nine-year tenure as the publisher and chief executive of the Washington Post will come to an end in August, and he cited a “deep and growing concern about the decline in civility” and “toxic” politics as reasons why.

“I have a deep and growing concern about the decline in civility and respectful dialogue in our political process, on social media platforms and more broadly across our society,” Ryan wrote in a memo to the Washington Post’s more than 1,000 workers.

The shift in leadership comes shortly after a round of layoffs in which about 2,500 Washington Post workers were sacked. Employees were informed that job cuts were imminent in Q1 of 2023 during an internal all-hands meeting back in December.

Before the meeting descended into chaos, Ryan blamed the cuts on worsening economic conditions. Flabbergasted reporters proceeded to hound Ryan with questions, as seen in a video taken at the meeting.

One worker could be heard referencing the broadsheet’s November decision to end its Sunday magazine. The magazine’s 10 employees were given pink slips when that move was announced late last year.

Ryan then stormed out of the room.

Fred Ryan
Fred Ryan announced that Aug. 1 will be his final day as publisher and CEO of the Washington Post.

The 68-year-old newsroom veteran headed up the Post — which boasts the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — for most of the decade since it was purchased by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos for $250 million in cash in 2013.

Ryan was recruited to the position by the billionaire from his chief spot at Politico, which he co-founded in 2007.

In his memo, he recalled “an era when people could disagree without being disagreeable.”

Ryan's memo to the newsroom
In a memo to the newsroom, Ryan said he’s resigning because of “the decline in civility and respectful dialogue in our political process, on social media platforms and more broadly across our society.”

“Political leaders on opposite sides of the aisle could find common ground for good of the country,” he added. “Today, the decline in civility has become a toxic and corrosive force that threatens our social interactions and weakens the underpinnings of our democracy.”

He will go on to lead the Center on Public Civility at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which prides itself on being nonpartisan.

In an interview published in his own paper accompanying his departure, Ryan called the move “a bookend for something I did early on in my career,” having worked as the chief of staff to former President Reagan from 1989 to 1995, after Reagan left the White House.

Jeff Bezos
Bezos handpicked Ryan for the chief role after he purchased the broadsheet for $250 million cash in 2013.
Getty Images

Ryan’s last day in the Washington Post newsroom will be on Aug. 1.

For the next two months, Bezos announced that Patty Stonesifer, the founding head honcho of the Gates Foundation and more recently the director of the Amazon board, will be the Post’s interim CEO.

“She’ll head up our leadership team, steer us through this important transition and help me identify the publisher/CEO who will take The Post forward into the next decade,” Bezos wrote in a memo addressed to the Washington Post team.

Source link

𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

Similar Posts