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Washington Post Newsroom Revolt Dissuades Named Editor from Taking Job

State of the Union: Have the inmates taken over the asylum?
Washington Post Lair
Credit: Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

On Friday, the Washington Post announced that its recently named editor, Robert Winnett, would not be taking the job and instead would instead be remaining in the United Kingdom.

Winnett was brought onboard by the Washington Post’s CEO and publisher, Will Lewis, who had worked with Winnett in the UK. Winnett and Lewis had used several journalistic techniques, such as paying data companies for information on politicians’ expenses, that are controversial in the American press. 

This, on top of a New York Times story stating that Winnett and Lewis had used stolen business and phone records in stories, sparked a widespread newsroom revolt led by the Pulitzer winner David Maraniss, a long-time Post employee. The paper ran a 3,000-word cover-page exposé of its editor-to-be.

Winnett has announced that he will remain in Britain to continue as the deputy editor of the Telegraph. The episode comes with the backdrop of the Jeff Bezos–owned paper’s financial struggles. The Post $77 million last year. By contrast, the Telegraph Media Group, which owns the Telegraph, recently reported a 35.2 percent rise in operating profit for 2023, to £54.2 million, although the group also incurred £277.6 million in debt due to its recent sale.

The Post is not the first mainstream outlet that has seen a newsroom rebellion. Earlier this year, former RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was forced out of NBC News, where she had been hired as a political analyst following a revolt by MSNBC hosts. In 2020, the New York Times hounded out the liberal opinion editor Bari Weiss.