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The broadsheet — which surged in readership during Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, but has since struggled to maintain that audience — is set to welcome a new chief executive and publisher in the coming weeks.
Owner Jeff Bezos is “very close” to making his selection, a person familiar with the matter told me Thursday, adding that the pick will likely be announced in November. Puck’s Dylan Byers reported Wednesday that a pick could even be announced within days.
Whomever Bezos selects for the task will face enormous challenges. Interim chief executive Patty Stonesifer revealed to employees earlier this month that, under previous chief executive Fred Ryan, the company “overshot on expenses.” Stonesifer described The Post as a “really good business,” but added that she has been working to “right size” it.
Some of the problems stem from The Post’s declining audience. Stonesifer disclosed that the publication’s readership has plummeted since Trump’s White House exit, with its digital audience sinking by a staggering 28% since 2021. Digital subscriptions, Stonesifer added, had dropped 15%.
That brutal reality has led to financial distress for the storied newspaper (it is on track to lose $100 million this year), forcing executives earlier this month to take evasive action, announcing that the company will reduce its workforce by 10% through voluntary buyouts.
Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, who held a town hall Thursday to answer questions from apprehensive Post staffers, told the troops that she expects to maintain 940 journalists across the company heading into 2024, people who attended the meeting told me. Still, she acknowledged that saying goodbye to such a large number of newsroom staffers will be difficult.
“It’s not going to be easy to lose valued colleagues,” Buzbee told the gathered staff, according to those who were there.