Memo: Washington Post looking for editor to oversee enterprise work
A memo from Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and managing editors Liz Spayd and John Temple lays out a new structure for enterprise editing. The paper will hire an enterprise editor to oversee "large efforts"; Jeff Leen, who leads the paper's investigative squadron, will report to this person. The paper also plans to hire a digital enterprise editor and a vacant front-page editor (the latter has been vacant since last year).
We’re announcing today a new enterprise editing structure we believe will lift the ambition, quality and impact of our journalism, across the newsroom and across platforms. While The Post produces exceptional work on many, many subjects, this arrangement will enable us to do more of what is our core competitive advantage: original, well-conceived and –executed journalism. We aren’t after more long-form or multipart projects. We want to elevate the framing, the writing, the multimedia dimensions, the vitality and the essentiality of our enterprise journalism.
To accomplish that, we are seeking an Enterprise Editor to work across the room to conceptualize, commission and guide our best work. That will happen several ways. On some occasions, the Enterprise Editor will collaborate with section editors who already have launched projects and work with them to be sure we’re hitting the right notes. At other times, this editor will bring together people from around the room to brainstorm and conceive large efforts. Almost always, this person will become a critical second read on ambitious work to sharpen the thinking, the writing and the reporting--and then move it across the finish line. This is a high-level position and we are seeking a proven talent, someone with intellectual firepower, creative instincts and a collaborative demeanor. This editor will report to Liz and work closely with John as well as other editors.
First among those is Jeff Leen, Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative, who continues to provide outstanding leadership of our investigative team and has brought The Post much distinction and many awards. We are proud of our investigative group and intend to keep it aimed at important, high-impact targets. The investigative team will remain a separate unit, focused on investigative, revelatory journalism, and led by Jeff, who will now report to the Enterprise Editor. Together, they will work with investigative reporters around the room.
Also reporting to the Enterprise Editor will be a Digital Enterprise Editor, who will work closely with teams across the room both to develop original digital journalism projects and to ensure we have a smart digital plan for the big journalism we're pursuing. As with the enterprise editor, the digital editor will work across the room with section, coverage and innovation editors, as well as Kat Downs, Sarah Sampsel and others in David Griffin’s team. The Digital Enterprise Editor will also coordinate with Deputy UND Editor Eric Rich, Deputy Digital Strategy Editor Cory Haik, Search and Engagement Editor Justin Bank and other key folks to ensure we have a smart engagement and social-media plan for all our significant work. The job is open and we are seeking candidates.
The Digital Enterprise Editor also will work closely with Homepage Editor Kenisha Malcolm, whose portfolio has recently been expanded to include responsibility for programming digital content. What this means is that she will decide when we play major stories—each day, each week, even each month. Coverage editors and the enterprise team will work with her to maximize the reach and impact of our digital journalism.
We also plan to fill the A1 Editor role Steve Reiss vacated last year, handling daily enterprise stories and polishing stories bound for the newspaper’s front page (but often available online during the day). This person will help News Editor Scott Vance pull together the newspaper’s front page, playing a role in selecting the stories, but also sharpening, smartening and streamlining stories bound for the front page and, in effect, for prominence on all of our platforms. This person will report to Scott but interact extensively with the enterprise editors.
Scott himself will take on a somewhat expanded role driving news across platforms. He’ll work closely with Eric Rich, Kenisha and others to ensure our news coverage is competitive minute to minute. Then, as the day progresses, he will tilt toward the paper, identifying and shaping news stories that should land on A1. He’ll collaborate with the A1 editor in selecting front page stories. He reports to Liz.
Finally, we’re pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Curran to the role of Weekend Editor, overseeing our weekend news operations, as well as the Sunday print edition and planning for the Monday paper. Tim has captained the ship on Saturdays now for some time, but he will now take on overall responsibility for our Sunday print edition. He should be involved
in planning for any major Sunday initiatives, in any section. He’ll no doubt spend a lot of time with our new Enterprise team, given the importance of Sunday as a showcase for ambitious journalism. And he’ll work with our partners on the business side, including the folks in Laura Evans’ research group and Gregg Fernandes’ circulation team, to keep our Sunday paper robust and relevant to readers. He will report to Sandy Sugawara but with a dotted line to John Temple.
We believe these structural changes and appointments will pay off in the quality and consistency of the journalism we offer our readers. We hope to fill the openings quickly. In the meantime, please join us in congratulating Tim on his new role and Kenisha for her new responsibilities.
Marcus Liz John
Correction: This post originally said Tim Curran would edit the paper's Weekend section; he will edit the weekend news operations, not that section.