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Washington Post Staffers Clash With CEO At All-Hands Meeting After Top Editor Exits

FILE - Sally Buzbee, then-senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, poses for a photo, Dec. 13, 2018, in New York. The Washington Post said Sunday, June 2, 2024, that Buzbee, its executive editor, has stepped down after three years at the top of one of journalism's most storied brands. (AP Photo/Chuck Zoeller, File)

Washington Post staffers grilled the newspaper’s new CEO and publisher Will Lewis during a tense all-hands meeting — less than 24 hours after executive editor Sally Buzbee stepped down.

Buzbee — the paper’s first female executive editor in its 144-year history — exited after a three-year tenure that was marred by deteriorating finances and readership, with the last year recording more than $70 million in losses and audience declines of 50% since 2020.

The sharp-elbowed Lewis, British-born media exec, who joined the paper last November, had clashed with Buzbee in recent months over his aggressive plan to carve up the newsroom and Buzbee’s oversight, which pushed the editor to resign Sunday, according to reports.

Lewis highlighted the flagging readership and financials as central to the changes, telling staffers, “you’re going to thank me when you see what it’s like to produce world-class journalism,” according to a source who paraphrased his comments.

“The tone was blaming the newsroom for the losses — like that was why there has to be a new team,” the source griped. “You can imagine how people feel about that.”

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