The dominoes continue to fall at the Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) … Jim Brady, executive editor of WashingtonPost.com, is leaving the paper after a successful four-year run, his role increasingly marginalized following a series of executive moves and the decision to integrate the print and digital newsrooms. The promotion of Katharine Weymouth to publisher and the head of the new Washington Post Media Group earlier this year, followed by her choice of former WSJ managing editor Marcus Brauchli as Leonard Downie’s successor, altered the chemistry and accelerated the idea of integrating the news operations.
Prior to Weymouth’s promotion, Brady reported to Caroline Little, CEO of WPNI; he ran the digital editorial operations while the print went in a separate line through the publisher. At the time, Weymouth said the print and digital news operations would remain distinct. Following Little’s departure two months later, Brady reported to Weymouth and then to Brauchli, who assumed editorial control over the site when he became executive editor of the Post in September. Brady told WSJ he agrees with the need to integrate — “it just limits the options as someone who comes in as a pure digital guy.” He told his own paper the separate newsrooms made sense: “There was a nice checks-and-balances where we could push the paper into things they wouldn’t have done on their own. ”
Brady will stay on through the presidential inauguration in late January.
No answer yet as to how Brauchli will deal with digital in terms of senior management. From an early version of the WaPo story: “Brauchli, who started in September, took over editorial control of the Web site and newspaper. Weymouth and Brauchli are now studying ways to integrate the newsroom of the newspaper, which is based in downtown Washington, with the newsroom of the Web site, which is based in Arlington.”
Update: From Brauchli via e-mail: “We haven’t yet come to any decisions about how we’ll handle Jim’s replacement and whether or how the structure might change. It’s clearly important to have someone who is closely focused on our digital audiences, who can work closely with our business and product-development teams, and who understands the deep news traditions of The Post.”
Full Disclosure: Little, now the CEO of Guardian North America, sits on our board. paidContent is a syndication partner of WaPo.com.