Marty Baron announces retirement from Washington Post

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Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron, who oversaw a period of both substantial growth and acclaim for the newspaper, will retire next month, the Post announced on Tuesday.

“Almost two years ago, I told department heads that I was committed to staying at The Post through the presidential election. I left open what might happen beyond that. Today I am letting you know that I will retire on February 28,” Baron wrote to newsroom staff. “I have worked in journalism without stop for nearly 45 years, leading magnificent news staffs in Miami, then Boston and now Washington, D.C., for 21.”

Baron told colleagues his experience “has been deeply meaningful, enriched by colleagues who made me a better professional and a better person. At age 66, I feel ready to move on.”

He came to the Post in 2013 after serving as executive editor at The Boston Globe since 2001.

At The Globe, Baron oversaw a reemphasis on local investigative journalism, culminating in a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic church. The reporting project was depicted in the 2015 film “Spotlight,” with actor Liev Schreiber portraying Baron. The movie won the Academy Awards for best picture and best original screenplay.

Baron was hired by the Post the same year it was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. At the time, the company had 580 news employees, a number that now exceeds 1,000.

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter noted Baron’s work helping the Post newsroom navigate relentless political attacks from former President Trump and credited him with helping pressure Iranian officials for the release of the Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, who was arrested in 2014 and charged with espionage.

“An assault on our profession, led by the president, has gone on now for years. It began as a campaign first to marginalize the press, then to delegitimize it, then to demonize us, then to dehumanize us. Then came ‘enemies of the people,'” Baron said at an event in 2018. “Meantime, the information ecosystem is awash in deceit and baseless conspiracy theories, many endorsed or invented by the president himself. The goal is evident, and it is cynical: obliterate the very idea of objective truth.”

Publisher Fred Ryan praised Baron, saying while at the Post he “expanded our coverage areas, inspired great reporting, managed an awesome digital transformation and [has] grown the number of readers and subscribers to unprecedented levels.”

“Marty has been thoughtful in his planning, which has allowed us to carefully discuss the timing of his retirement as well as the selection of a worthy successor,” Ryan said. “Please know that I view this as one of the most consequential responsibilities I will have as your publisher. The search will be a broad and inclusive one, considering both outstanding internal candidates as well as journalists at other publications with the vision and ability to build upon Marty’s success.”

The Post did not name an immediate replacement for Baron.

—Updated at 12:05 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Bezos Marty Baron media The Washington Post Washington D.C.

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