April 19, 2024

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William Lewis, a reporter-turned-executive who labored for years in British media and for firms owned by Rupert Murdoch, has been named the brand new CEO and writer of The Washington Publish.

As CEO of Dow Jones and writer of The Wall Road Journal from 2014 to 2020, Lewis was credited with rising the Journal’s digital subscriber base.

In an e-mail to employees late Saturday, Publish proprietor Jeff Bezos famous that Lewis’ background as each a journalist and an govt made him a “sturdy match” for the job.

“Once I met Will, I used to be drawn to his love of journalism and his ardour for driving monetary success,” Bezos wrote. “Will embodies the tenacity, power and imaginative and prescient required for this position. He believes that collectively we’ll construct the precise future for The Publish. I agree.”

Lewis, 54, additionally based a startup, Information Motion, centered on delivering nonpartisan information to youthful audiences on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and different social platforms.

He beforehand had an extended profession in England, the place he labored first as a enterprise reporter and editor after which as editor-in-chief of the Every day Telegraph.

In 2010, he joined Murdoch-owned Information Corp. and the next yr was appointed to go a committee to look into the corporate’s cellphone hacking and police bribery scandal – the fallout from which led to felony fees and the closure of the tabloid Information of the World.

Lewis takes over at a tumultuous time for The Publish, which has seen declines in each viewership and subscribers. Executives are providing buyouts throughout the corporate to cut back headcount by about 10 %. The newsroom is predicted to shrink to about 940 journalists and the Publish is predicted to finish the yr with a lack of $100 million.

He replaces Fred Ryan, who stepped down earlier this yr after main a lot of the Publish’s decade of fast progress because it was taken over by Amazon founder Bezos.

Throughout Ryan’s tenure, the Publish’s viewers and newsroom grew – a interval that largely coincided with the Trump administration’s accelerated information cycle.

However like a lot of the media business, The Publish skilled a decline in enterprise after Trump left workplace and the pandemic subsided.

Across the similar time, Lewis left the Dow Jones. Throughout his tenure, the Journal tripled its digital subscribers to 1.93 million and the corporate elevated income by means of premium enterprise choices, the newspaper reported on the time.

In 2011 he was accused of taking part in a job in leaking an audio recording that had been obtained from his former colleagues on the Telegraph however was leaked to the BBC, which then managed to first publish a bombshell story involving a non-public secretary The Cupboard revealed feedback about Rupert Murdoch. Lewis denied the allegations however refused to reply questions in regards to the revelation throughout a judicial inquiry, citing the necessity to defend sources. In 2020, he denied allegations that he performed a job in masking up emails in regards to the hacking scandal, calling the allegations made in a lawsuit “fully unfaithful.”

The seek for Ryan’s successor was led by interim CEO Patty Stonesifer, the founding govt director of the Gates Basis and a former senior Microsoft govt who sits on Amazon’s board.

Emily Bell, who directs the Tow Heart for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism College and competed with Lewis when she ran the Guardian’s digital information division, described him as “a really journalism-focused writer”.

She mentioned the years Lewis labored for Murdoch “means a certain quantity of metal enters the soul.” She added – relating to his dealings with Murdoch in addition to his future relationship with Bezos – that Lewis’ “superpower, nonetheless, is being extremely good with very, very wealthy individuals.”

Lewis will take up his place on January 2nd. He at present commutes between New York and London and can transfer to Washington, the place the put up workplace is headquartered.

Lewis was editor of the Telegraph when Boris Johnson wrote for the paper and reportedly served as a casual adviser to the previous prime minister. Final month he was knighted on Johnson’s advice. When requested in September about his relationship with Johnson, who resigned from Parliament in June, Lewis advised Bloomberg he was not a “fair-weather good friend.”

“If I’m your good friend, even if you happen to make errors, even when you find yourself doing issues that I basically disagree with, I gained’t let up.”

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