The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Top Washington Post advertising executive unexpectedly leaves company

Jed Hartman, The Washington Post’s top advertising executive, has left the company after nearly four years.

The Post did not offer a reason for Hartman’s departure, which colleagues said was unexpected. “We don’t comment on personnel matters,” said Kristine Coratti Kelly, a company spokeswoman.

Hartman, who is listed as a vice president on The Post’s masthead, didn’t return phone calls and emails seeking comment.

As chief revenue officer of The Post since late 2014, Hartman was responsible for print and digital advertising sales.

He was previously group publisher at Time Inc., overseeing advertising, marketing and event sales for Time, Fortune and Money magazines. Media Industry News named him its publisher of the year in 2014.

Hartman was named last year to Adweek magazine’s annual list of 50 top marketing, media and technology executives.

It said Hartman had “built a nine-figure ad business at the Jeff Bezos-owned media company in less than three years. Key initiatives include launching a brand studio, as well as an ad-tech division called Red. Both are hailed as leading-edge operations that give WaPo a shot at generating glowing financial headlines of its own for years to come.”

Advertising employees were told Thursday that Hartman was no longer with the company but were given no details. “We were shocked by the news,” said one employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely.

As recently as Monday, Hartman sounded upbeat about The Post’s prospects. “We went from 27 million to 54 million U.S. unique [visits] before we knew that Donald Trump was running for president,” he told a publishing conference in Florida. “Then we went from 54 million to 80-100 million unique [visits] depending on what he tweets on the day. We’ve built a vibrant subscription business that’s gotten more vibrant since President Trump. But we did a lot before.”

No replacement has been named for Hartman.