Washington Post’s John Temple resigns as managing editor

March 6, 2013

Washington Post Managing Editor John Temple said Wednesday that he is leaving the newspaper after almost a year in the job.

Temple, 59, is one of two managing editors, the second-ranking job behind the executive editor. The former editor and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Temple built a new-media company called Hono­lulu Civil Beat in Hawaii before joining The Post last March. At The Post, his most recent responsibilities have been for digital news operations, graphics, photography and design.

Temple is the third senior newsroom executive to depart in the past three months. He was hired by executive editor Marcus Brauchli, who left the paper in December to join The Washington Post Co. as a vice president. Martin Baron, the former editor of the Boston Globe, succeeded Brauchli in January.

Liz Spayd, who shared managing editor duties with Temple, retired last month after taking a buyout in spring 2012. The paper elevated national editor Kevin Merida to replace her.

Under Baron, the newspaper realigned management responsibilities, with news operations reporting to Merida, and digital initiatives and graphics reporting to Temple. Previously, Temple had had a large portfolio of news operations, including the local news and Sports sections, the Travel and Food sections and Sunday Style and the WP Magazine, among others.

Temple spoke positively about Baron and his brief tenure at the paper, but noted at one point: “The person who hired me [Brauchli] is no longer here. I bridged the divide [during the transition] and we’re on solid ground now on the Web. So I can say, ‘What’s next for me?’ ”

He said that he would take some time off to consider his options but that he is likely to stay in the news business. His last day is March 22. “I love this kind of work,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine not being involved [in it] in some kind of way.”

Baron praised Temple’s work for the paper and characterized his resignation as a surprise. “Obviously, I was hoping he’d stay,” he said. He discounted the newspaper’s management turnover, saying, “If you look at news organizations these days, you’ll notice changes at the top. That’s just a natural progression.”

Separately, The Post said it has named Douglas Feaver as its new reader representative. Feaver is a longtime Post editor and retired former executive editor of washingtonpost.com, the digital news operation that has merged with the newspaper. He will field reader questions and complaints and will write a blog, said Fred Hiatt, the paper’s editorial page editor. He will be assisted by a full-time staff member, Alison Coglianese.

The reader representatives are the successors to the Post’s ombudsman, who was an independent contractor rather than a newsroom employee. That position that was phased out last week after 43 years.

Paul Farhi is The Washington Post's media reporter.
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