Washington Post Publisher Announces He’s Quitting

On Monday, the publisher and chief executive of the Washington Post announced that he would be stepping down at the end of July, CNN reported.

Fred Ryan, who was with the Washington Post for nearly a decade, said he was leaving the paper to head up the Center on Public Civility, a new non-partisan group launched by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

In a memo to Washington Post staff, Ryan said he had been honored to be selected by owner Jeff Bezos to head the paper nine years ago, adding that working with Bezos and the staff at the Post was “an incredible experience and enormously gratifying.”

During his tenure, the Washington Post reporting won countless awards, including 13 Pulitzer prizes. The outlet’s business grew significantly during the Trump presidency, especially in increased digital subscriptions. 

Ryan has faced his share of criticism, most recently in December 2022 when he announced at a staff meeting that the Post would be laying off employees in early 2023. Post staffers were furious that Ryan refused to answer any questions from staff after his announcement.

The Washington Post ended last year in the red, prompting layoffs and additional cuts in recent months.

Ryan’s handling of the announced layoffs prompted several high-profile Post reporters to join the paper’s union, The Washington Post Newspaper Guild, including some who had previously refused to join.

In his Monday memo to staff, Ryan said he would remain in his position until August 1 to ease the transition.

Amazon board member Patty Stonesifer will serve as interim chief. Stonesifer, who is the founding chief executive of the Gates Foundation, will lead the search for a new publisher and CEO and will manage the transition, according to the Washington Post.

Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos thanked Ryan for guiding the paper “through a period of innovation, journalistic excellence, and growth.”