Katharine Weymouth: Stepping down was Brauchli’s decision

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said the paper named a new executive editor Tuesday “because Marcus decided to step down at the end of the year.” I asked her, during a brisk and efficient phone call, if the decision was Brauchli’s. “Yes it was,” Weymouth said.

Boston Globe Editor Marty Baron will replace Brauchli; Weymouth says redefining the paper locally “is not what this hire is about.” For the Post, she said, “local means both stories for the true local community” as well as the White House, Congress and the paper’s national readership, which mostly consumes the Post digitally.

Christine Haughney reported in The New York Times Tuesday that newsroom cuts were one great source of tension between Brauchli and Weymouth. I asked her what sort of relationship she was hoping for with the paper’s new editor. “Honestly, my focus was not on a relationship,” she said about the search that ended at Baron’s door. “My priority is to continue to produce world class journalism.”

I asked if she foresaw the Post’s newsroom being smaller a year from now. “I certainly hope not,” she said. “I’m hiring Marty for his journalism … that’s what he’s coming here for.”

Several members of the Washington Post Newspaper Guild “were struck” that Weymouth “noted Baron’s ability to lead the Globe with ‘fewer resources’ ” in comments delivered to the newsroom.

“I don’t need to tell you these are tough times for our industry,” she told Poynter by phone. “We will have to react to the economic climate we’re in.”

Her family believes, Weymouth said, that “great journalism and great business go hand in hand,” and if the company makes money, it will plow it back into the newsroom.

The Washington Post Company’s third quarter earnings report, released earlier this month, show flat revenue compared to the same period last year. Circulation and ad revenue fell at the company’s newspaper while broadcast television and cable business revenue rose.

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