Former Washington Post publisher Bo Jones (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Jones has been with The Post for 32 years, including eight years as publisher and CEO from 2000 to 2008.

“If I made a list of the greatest contributors to The Post over the last 30 years, Bo Jones would be right up there with Ben Bradlee and Len Downie.  Bo won crucial lawsuits for the paper and kept us out of many more; he was a wise and resourceful publisher at a critical time; and his values, character and integrity epitomize what’s best in our business,” Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post company, said.

In 2012, Jones will join MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, which produces “PBS NewsHour.” NewsHour reports Jones will “head corporate and foundation funding for the NewsHour, coordinate relationships with all public television broadcast and distribution entities, as well as develop documentary programs and projects.”

Graham said, “We will miss Bo, but I’m glad that if he is leaving us, he’ll be going to one of the classiest organizations in journalism.”

Jones said he and Graham go back 50 years. They met in high school and two worked together on their college newspaper. After clerking for a judge and working at a law firm, Jones joined Graham at The Post in 1980.

Jones said, “It’s been a truly great privilege to work at the Post for Don Graham and with so many talented, dedicated people.” His departure will not change two things: Jones said he’ll still talk to Graham regularly and he’ll remain a Post shareholder.