Announcement from Executive Editor Martin Baron and Managing Editors Cameron Barr and Emilio Garcia-Ruiz:
We are delighted to announce the creation of three roles designed to ensure that our journalism finds a wider audience, that the tools we use in the newsroom are state of the art and that our most important story projects are of the highest quality and built in a timely manner. The new roles — operations editor, product editor and project editor — will help us continue the massive growth we have experienced the past few years while serving and increasing our burgeoning subscriber base. The new roles will also allow us to partner better with the engineering team as it places a greater emphasis on product development and rolls out the final pieces of the Arc operating system.
All editors are digital, so to fill the new roles we are eliminating the Digital Editor title in the departments that still use it. That role, like the innovation editor role that preceded it, served its purpose well but it harkens back to a time when digital responsibilities were only held by a select few.
Instead, we are standardizing digital responsibilities to make them consistent around the room. Department heads will have full authority over their digital strategy and performance. Assignment editors will develop and implement the coverage plans for their topics. And while most reporters already handle basic digital publishing tasks for their stories, we want to standardize the practice across the newsroom.
We recently completed strategy and audience workshops for department heads, their deputies and assignment editors and the new roles will go into effect early next month. Here’s a more specific breakdown of the new roles:
Operations Editor: The chief responsibilities of the Operations Editor are to help departments successfully implement all facets of their strategies and to find more readers for high-potential stories that are underperforming. An Operations Editor will ensure that teams properly use the latest tools and workflows, which is an integral element of success. The Operations Editor will constantly look for snags and inefficiencies and will advocate for their section’s needs. The Operations Editor will work with assignment editors and department heads as they roll out coverage strategies targeting audience and subscriber growth. They will identify daily and planned stories that have failed to meet their audience potential and solve the problems they encounter. For instance, if a big project does not quickly find an audience, the Operations Editor will zero in on what went wrong.
The Operations Editor team with be led by Director of Operations Megan H. Chan and will include Sophie Ho, Veronica Toney, and Julie Vitkovskaya. Sophie has served as a digital editor on the universal desk since last summer when we hired her after a stellar internship. Sophie has been working as the Hub Engagement Editor, helping us improve article pages and playing a key role in creating the research material for the audience workshops. Veronica joined Features in 2012 as a producer after spending five years as a web editor for Meredith Corporation, whose titles include Better Homes and Gardens. Veronica just finished a stint on the all-volunteer staff that successfully launched our Snapchat Discover edition last February. Julie, the deputy digital editor for Foreign and National Security, will continue to work with the National Security team as long as needed in addition to her Operations duties. Julie joined The Post in 2015 as a producer on the Emerging News Products team and moved to her current role last year.
Product Editor: This is a role that was once critical to the success of the newsroom but was never re-filled after key personnel left. Newsroom product editors work with engineering to ensure our products are best in class and are built to empower Washington Post journalism. They identify and evaluate new and innovative tools worthy of adoption. They will oversee the existing product portfolio and advocate for new features based on analytics, business objectives, and internal and external user feedback. The product editor will work hand-in-hand with the engineering and designs teams led by Joey Marburger. Websked is a good example of a critical newsroom product that would benefit from this type of oversight.
The newsroom product initiative will be led by Director of Newsroom Product Greg Barber, who will be taking on an expanded role after his work on the Coral commenting project. Greg will be joined by Charity Brown, who has been working as the digital editor for Health, Science and Environment. Charity has been at The Post 11 years, including stints as a researcher for Michelle Singletary and as an editorial aide in Health and Science.
Project Editor: The Project Editors will partner with department heads and assignment editors to develop and implement strategy for special, multi-faceted, high-ambition editorial projects (including the 25 most important editorial projects in the newsroom). Project editors will identify opportunities to be digitally innovative in presentation of projects and other ambitious work, including major news events and runs of coverage, working in consultation with department heads and assignment editors. Project editors will also work closely with the Enterprise Editor, Design Director, Graphics Director and Director of Video in determining and implementing the long-term project roadmap, ensuring overall and individual project roadmaps and timelines are transparent to all stakeholders.
The newsroom projects team will be led by Enterprise Editor Tim Curran. Tim will be joined by Terri Rupar and Allison Michaels. Terri, who will be Tim’s deputy, has been the National Digital Projects Editor since 2014. She has served in numerous roles since coming to The Post as an intern in 2003, including lead editor of our Politics iPad app, a mobile product editor who helped launch the Rainbow app, and as foreign digital editor.
Allison came to the Post in 2014 from U.S. News & World Report, joining the Rainbow app team. She became national’s digital deputy editor in 2015 and has been the voice of some of our finest audio work, including the hit “Can He Do That?” podcast.
Some digital editors have already been, or will be, shifted into assignment editor roles by department heads. These are:
Michelle Williams, Financial. Michelle has been working as an assignment editor overseeing Innovations, Get There and The Switch. Michelle came to Financial from National Journal in 2010 and also has worked as a web producer.
Tim Richardson, Local. Tim has been working as an assignment editor with Local’s breaking news reporters and on some of its city and protest coverage. Tim came to The Post in 2012, joining the Local desk as innovations editor.
Glenn Yoder, Sports. Glenn is working as an assignment editor, with overall responsibility for the Early Lead, DC Sports Bog and Fancy Stats. Glenn is the former sports editor at Boston.com and a former writer for the Boston Globe.
Jennifer Amur will become an assignment editor on Foreign. Jenn moved to the foreign desk as a digital editor in 2016 after stints on the homepage and overseeing newsletters and alerts. She joined The Post in 2014 from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she was a digital projects producer.