The Washington Post
The Post has confirmed Politico’s story Wednesday reporting that John Temple, former editor of the Rocky Mountain News and now editor of Honolulu Civil Beat, will replace Raju Narisetti as one of its two managing editors.
Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli tells staff in a memo that with Temple’s hiring, the Post is structuring its newsroom “around our two key audiences, those who read us locally and those who come to us from outside the area.” As Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison reported in February, the Post has long struggled with its identity as a local vs. a national paper. Brauchli continues: “The new leadership structure aligns the Newsroom with our broader strategy of being the indispensable guide to Washington, both for people who live in this region and for those who want to understand it as the world’s seat of power. ”
The announcement signals that the Post will continue to confound anyone who tries to understand the management of its Style section, which covers arts. Temple will run Sunday Arts and Sunday Style (two sections that were previously one section); Liz Spayd, the other managing editor, will manage Style on other days. On the Web, the Post continues to divide Style content between the “Lifestyle” and “Entertainment” tabs on its navigational bar.
The Post’s news release is after the jump.
But first, Brauchli’s memo to staff:
To the Staff:
I’m pleased to announce that John Temple is joining The Washington Post as a managing editor.
John is a journalist and leader of exceptional talent, whose experience is an ideal fit for the role he’s taking on. He’ll oversee the departments that predominantly serve our local market. He will also serve as the Newsroom’s senior digital editor.
With his arrival, we will restructure the Newsroom around our two key audiences, those who read us locally and those who come to us from outside the area. John will have responsibility for Local, Sports, Weekend, Going Out Guide, Local Living, Food, Travel, Sunday Arts, Sunday Style, The Washington Post Magazine and Capitol Business.
Liz Spayd, whose impeccable news judgment and steady hand have served The Post so well, will remain in charge of the daily news flow, both in print and digitally, and retains in her portfolio National, Foreign, Business, Style, Investigative, the Universal News Desk, Outlook and Health & Science.
Kevin Sullivan, who led an ambitious and successful effort last year to enhance our Sunday newspaper and who has guided Style, as well as many of the weekly sections John will oversee, will become a senior correspondent, reporting to Liz. Under Kevin’s leadership, we re-established the Sunday Arts section, created the Sunday Style section, redesigned other parts of the Sunday paper, and imported the work of many outstanding journalists from across the Newsroom to Style. He also led our efforts to develop digital books, including our successful Kindle single, “The Hunt for bin Laden.” All were great accomplishments. As excellent an editor as he is, Kevin is also a gifted, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who has wanted to return to reporting.
The new leadership structure aligns the Newsroom with our broader strategy of being the indispensable guide to Washington, both for people who live in this region and for those who want to understand it as the world’s seat of power. Elemental to our approach is an awareness that our fastest-growing audiences now come to us through mobile phones and tablets, through websites, through the Social Reader on Facebook, and through video. We must adapt our journalism to this digital imperative. We’re fortunate to have a terrific, hugely innovative digital team, and we need to embrace and build upon their considerable recent accomplishments across the Newsroom.
We’re excited to have someone of John’s luminous talents join us on that mission. He is among this country’s most accomplished journalists–a former editor and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, a former vice president of the E.W. Scripps Newspaper group, a former managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune and the founding editor and general manager of Honolulu Civil Beat, a pioneering online news site he launched in Hawaii with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
His credentials only begin to get at the depth of his experience. He’s covered local and state governments, been an environment reporter, served as a city editor, and sired a slew of pioneering digital-news projects, including a highly successful high-school sports site in Denver and a national political website, RedBlueAmerica.com, that set out in 2008 to inform users about civic issues and perspectives different from their own. In his time as editor of the Rocky Mountain News, the paper won four Pulitzers and was a finalist for two others. And if you want to understand his metabolism and see a smart, ambitious local digital news site, take a look at Civil Beat (civilbeat.com).
We will be making further structural announcements in coming weeks, as John settles in. He’ll be here next Monday and Tuesday to meet with people, and will start formally on April 30. Please join me in welcoming John to The Washington Post and in congratulating Kevin on his new assignment.
Washington Post press release
The Washington Post Announces John Temple as a New Managing Editor
Former editor and publisher of Rocky Mountain News will oversee The Post’s local coverage and digital initiatives
WASHINGTON—March 29, 2012—The Washington Post today announces John Temple will join The Post as a managing editor, overseeing coverage that predominantly serves the local audience and acting as the newsroom’s senior digital editor.
Temple is a former editor and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, a former vice president of the E.W. Scripps Newspaper group, and most recently, the founding editor and general manager of Honolulu Civil Beat, an online news site co-founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
“As a reporter and editor with decades of experience running local newsrooms and as a leader who has successfully launched a number of pioneering digital news projects, John’s background is ideally suited to the role he’s taking on at The Post. As a managing editor for The Post, John will ensure that the coverage we provide to our print and digital audiences is smart, original and acutely attentive to our audience. He’ll help us to build on the rapid growth we’ve enjoyed recently with readers who come to us through our website, on mobile devices, or through new platforms like the incredibly successful Washington Post Social Reader on Facebook,” said Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor of The Washington Post.
As a Washington Post managing editor, Temple will run Local, Sports, Weekend, the Going Out Guide, Local Living, Food, Travel, Sunday Arts, Sunday Style, The Washington Post Magazine and Capitol Business. He joins managing editor Liz Spayd, who will continue to oversee the day-to-day plans for the newspaper and manage the National, Foreign, Business, Style, Investigative, Outlook, Health & Science sections and Universal News Desk.
During Temple’s time at Rocky Mountain News, he spearheaded the launch of a number of successful digital ventures and founded YourHub.com, the largest citizen-journalism initiative by a major American newspaper when it was created in 2005. The paper also won four Pulitzers and was a finalist for two others. At Scripps, he conceived, developed and launched a national cultural/political website, RedBlueAmerica.com that set out in 2008 to inform users about civic issues and perspectives different from their own. Among Temple’s most ambitious local digital news projects was his recent launch of CivilBeat.com, a site that was named Hawaii’s best overall news site by state chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.
Temple’s first day at The Washington Post will be April 30.