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William Lewis named publisher and CEO of The Washington Post

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William Lewis, a former Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal executive who spent more than a decade working for Rupert Murdoch-owned companies, is the new CEO and publisher of The Washington Post.

He begins the job Jan. 2.

Lewis, 54, served as CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal from 2014 to 2020, where he was credited for increasing the Journal’s digital subscriber base.

He also founded a start-up, the News Movement, which focuses on delivering nonpartisan news to younger audiences.

Before that, he had a long career in British media, working first as a business reporter and editor and then as chief editor of The Daily Telegraph.

In 2010, he joined the Murdoch-owned News Corp. and the following year was tasked with helping to run a committee created to address the company’s phone-hacking and police bribery scandal — the fallout of which led to criminal charges and the closure of the News of the World tabloid.

In an email to staff late Saturday, The Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos cited Lewis’s background as both a journalist and executive in making him a “strong fit” for the job.

“As I’ve gotten to know Will, I’ve been drawn to his love of journalism and passion for driving financial success,” Bezos wrote. “Will embodies the tenacity, energy and vision needed for this role. He believes that together we will build the right future for The Post. I agree.”

Lewis takes over during a tumultuous time for The Post, which has experienced a drop-off in both audience and subscribers. Executives are offering buyouts across the company in an effort to reduce its head count by about 10 percent; the newsroom is expected to shrink to about 940 journalists, and The Post is projected to end the year taking a $100 million loss.

He replaces Fred Ryan, who stepped down earlier this year after overseeing most of The Post’s decade of rapid growth since it was purchased by Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

During Ryan’s tenure, The Post’s audience and newsroom expanded — a period that largely coincided with the supercharged Trump-administration news cycle.

But like much of the media industry, The Post saw its business decline after Trump left office and the pandemic subsided.

Lewis left Dow Jones around the same time. During his tenure, the Journal tripled its digital subscribers to 1.93 million and the company boosted revenue through elite business offerings, the newspaper reported at the time.

The search for Ryan’s replacement was headed up by interim CEO Patty Stonesifer, the founding chief executive of the Gates Foundation and a former high-ranking Microsoft executive who sits on the Amazon board.

This story will be updated.



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