Washington Post's Top Boss Leaving Paper for Reagan Foundation Job


Washington Post publisher and chief executive Fred Ryan is leaving the newspaper after nine years in charge to lead a newly formed Center on Public Civility at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the newspaper said on Monday.

Ryan will be replaced on an interim basis by Patty Stonesifer, formerly chief executive of the Gates Foundation and a member of the Amazon board, newspaper owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said.

Ryan served as chief of staff to then-President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

He will stay on for two more months, Bezos said in a memo to staff members.

“It is a tremendous honor to be asked to lead this new Center on Public Civility,” Ryan said in a statement. “Americans of all political persuasions are calling for return to a culture of civility and respect in our political processes, social media platforms, schools and communities.

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“During my service in the Reagan White House, I saw how successful leaders could be when they reach across the aisle in a respectful way to advance America’s interests. I look forward to working with the Reagan Foundation and Institute in collaboration with other individuals and organizations to help restore civility to our politics and society.”

A year after Bezos bought the newspaper, Ryan was appointed to lead the Post in 2014, taking over from Katharine Weymouth — granddaughter of longtime CEO Katharine Graham — and ending the Graham family’s eight-decade tenure as leaders of the largest newspaper in the nation’s capital.

The former CEO and a founder of Politico oversaw the appointment of Sally Buzbee — the former Associated Press executive editor — as the Post’s top editor, replacing Marty Baron in 2021.

The Post expanded during the Trump administration in an aggressive transition into digital publishing.

However, its audience shrank when Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House.

The Post lost 300,000 subscribers in less than a year, The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2021.

Like many other liberal news outlets, it has had to lay off staff members in recent years, including 20 newsroom employees early this year.

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Ryan, however, said his departure has nothing to do with the recent downturn, according to the Post.

“I have no doubt that the high-quality journalism of the standard of The Washington Post will always be successful,” he told the newspaper.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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