(Reuters) – The Washington Post said on Tuesday that Executive Editor Martin “Marty” Baron will retire at the end of February, after eight years with the newspaper.
Under Baron and owner Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder who bought the paper for $250 million in 2013, the Post has expanded its newsroom, broadened its coverage and invested in its digital operations. It now has about 3 million digital-only subscribers, up nearly a million in the last year.
In a memo to staff, Washington Post Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Fred Ryan wrote that Baron has “managed an awesome digital transformation and grown the number of readers and subscribers to unprecedented levels.”
Baron, 66, expanded the Post newsroom from 580 journalists when he arrived to over 1,000 this year, Ryan wrote. The newsroom won 10 Pulitzer Prizes under his leadership.
During Baron’s tenure, the newsroom also faced controversy over its management of reporters and their social media use. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Lowery, who is Black, left the paper for CBS News last year, allegedly after clashing with Baron over the reporter’s tweets related to race, journalism and other subjects.
The newspaper also briefly suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez after she tweeted a Daily Beast article about rape accusations against basketball player Kobe Bryant following his death in a helicopter crash.
Neither Baron nor the Post could immediately be reached for comment.
Before joining the Post, Baron had been editor of the Boston Globe, and previously held top editing positions at the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. He was portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight,” which depicted the Globe’s investigation of sexual abuse by priests within the Boston Archdiocese.
(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Dan Grebler)