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The Brass’s Take on the Shake Up at WaPo

 Member Newsletter
June 6, 2024 11:55 a.m.

We’ve now got the brass’s take on the shake-up at The Washington Post via Dylan Byers at Puck. I subscribe to Puck, and some of the people there are extremely good. Others I read because I want to know what *those* people are thinking. Dylan Byers is in that category for me. He covers media but in a very corporate, rah-rah, mergery, no-actual-interest-in-journalism kind of way. William Cohan covers the titans for Puck too. But I always learn a lot from his reports. Byers is out now with his report on what happened. In his version of events, Buzbee, the departed executive editor, was a bit of a fuddy-duddy, the kind of serious and well-meaning editor you’d expect at the head of a dying institution. Indeed, she was so not a player that, in his account, she participated in the planning for the Post’s new direction, creating a “third newsroom” and such, without realizing until the last minute that it was in part an effort to ease her out. So not a player.

If you’re a subscriber, read his account and if you’re not I think you can read the article by, like, giving them your email. The are two points which suffuse his account and which he in various places states explicitly. The first is that the British newspaper execs have “swagger” and the current Post lacks “swagger” and needs it desperately. Buzbee is a fine editor but lacks “swagger.” She came from the AP, as he notes. How can you have less “swagger”? The second is that the Biden era is boring — “somnolent,” as he puts it — and lacks the “go-go” excitement of the Trump era.

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