MEDIA

AP's Sally Buzbee Named First Female Executive Editor Of The Washington Post

The wire service veteran editor will take over from Marty Baron, who retired earlier this year.
Journalist Sally Buzbee will be the first woman to lead The Washington Post newsroom.
Journalist Sally Buzbee will be the first woman to lead The Washington Post newsroom.

Journalist Sally Buzbee of The Associated Press will take over as executive editor of The Washington Post next month, becoming the first woman to lead the paper’s newsroom.

She will take the reins from legendary editor Marty Baron, 66, who was the paper’s executive editor from January 2013 until his retirement in late February. 

Buzbee, 55, has served as the AP’s executive editor since 2017, overseeing news produced from nearly 250 locations around the world. She started her career at the New York-based wire agency in 1988 in Kansas, where she had graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism. 

“The Washington Post is an institution with a rich journalistic legacy that is on the cutting edge of digital media. This puts The Post at the forefront of journalism’s future and presents an enormous opportunity for growth,” Buzbee said in a statement. “It will be an honor to lead this incredible group of journalists.”

She has also reported from California and Washington, where she was promoted to assistant bureau chief in 1996. In 2004, she oversaw the AP’s coverage of the Iraq War from her base in Cairo before heading back to the nation’s capital to steer coverage of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. 

Buzbee also holds an MBA from Georgetown University.

The Associated Press is one of the world’s largest news organizations, with around 3,300 employees, the majority of which are journalists. 

She will now lead a newsroom of about 1,000 journalists covering local, national and international events for an audience that both reads a physical paper and consumes its news online. The Washington Post attracted about 88 million unique visitors to its website over the month of March, behind The New York Times, Vox Media and CNN’s website.

“Sally Buzbee has an exceptional record of achievement and a tremendous wealth of experience in leading a global news organization,” Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, said in a statement. “In an extensive search that included many of the best journalists in America, Sally stood out as the right person to lead The Post going forward. She is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy, and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy.”

In 2013, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million ― a sale that ended the Graham family’s 80-year ownership. Over the past several years the paper has undergone a revival with shored up finances and, under Baron’s leadership, 10 Pulitzer Prizes. 

Buzbee’s first day will be June 1.