Washington Post newsroom was ablaze Friday with rumors that the long-rumored demise of Marcus Brauchli
was imminent. Nothing. Silence. Monday—quiet.
It seemed as if the stench of a rotting body filled the newsroom.
“Not fair to Marcus,” a writer said.
Reports of Brauchli’s demise have been gathering and dissipating since late September,
The Washingtonian first floated
Boston Globe editor Martin “Marty” Baron as his possible replacement.
Tuesday morning the
Post called a newsroom meeting at 11:45 and announced that Baron would replace Brauchli.
He’s scheduled to take over January 2.
Baron has been editing the
Globe since 2001 and has won many plaudits along the way. The paper won a number of Pulitzer
prizes, and Baron has been recognized as a top editor by
Editor & Publisher. He’s been around, having worked at the
New York Times, the
Los Angeles Times, and the
Reporters at the
Globe remember Baron as the editor who stood up for them this summer when the Romney campaign
demanded a correction of a
Globe story. Mitt Romney had said he had cut ties with Bain Capital in 1999. Globe reporters
unearthed documents that said the GOP presidential candidate was listed as a “sole
stockholder” at Bain in 2002 and had been on the executive payroll in 2001 and 2002.
The Romney campaign demanded a correction. Baron declined.
Brauchli will not be remembered as a reporter’s editor.
Brauchli took over as the top
Post editor in 2008 from Leonard Downie Jr. The hire by then-new publisher Katharine Weymouth
was seen as daring, since Brauchli was the first newsroom leader who had not come
from inside the
Reporters and editors came to see Brauchli as a colorless leader who failed to motivate
the troops during a time of shrinking coverage and a series of buyouts. Brauchli will
go down as the executive editor who closed the paper’s national bureaus and oversaw
the loss of some of the
Post’s best bylines, including fashion writer Robin Givhan, investigative reporter James
Grimaldi, and TV critic Tom Shales, among many others
In her comments, Weymouth recognized Brauchli for merging the
Post’s print and digital newsrooms. The two were reported to be in conflict over the past
few months over newsroom budgets. Brauchli was aware that Weymouth had been interviewing
editors. He told intimates Weymouth knew very little about running a newsroom and
that she might learn something from speaking to other editors.
Post is kicking Brauchli upstairs to work on new media.