I have been preoccupied for months with the world’s dumbest media mystery: the identity of the person who runs the Washington Post’s Peloton account. When I asked earlier this year, the Post wouldn’t tell me. Since then I’ve received countless coy messages from Post employees saying they wish they could tell me. Finally I can reveal the answer: according to numerous sources, it’s Ryan Kellett, the Post’s senior director of audience, who announced on Twitter yesterday that he’s leaving. (Update: Kellett has confirmed to me that he’s the author.)
What I still can’t explain is the secrecy around Kellett’s identity. The Peloton account, which users of the connected exercise equipment tend to encounter as an unexpected “high five” after they finish a workout or hit a milestone, would be a weird product at almost any media company except the Washington Post, which has built franchises in places few “print” publications would dare: It has a million followers on TikTok, for instance, has nearly half a million subscribers on the messaging platform Viber, which is most popular outside the US, and even has a Fire TV app (which I suspect I’m one of very few people to try out).
All these efforts feed the Post’s ambitions to shed its local-yokel past and become a global publication, which I wrote about for this month’s print mag.
Kellett tells me he hopes to have a successor in place by the end of next week, when he leaves the Post. The Post’s PR operation has not yet replied to a message that asked why this was such a mystery.