The Washington Post is losing its executive editor of seventeen years, it was announced today. Leonard Downie Jr. spent 44 years (his entire journalism career) at the Post and led the paper to a total of 25 Pulitzer prizes. According to Howard Kurtz, new publisher Katharine Weymouth addressed the staff of the paper today:
“Len is incontrovertibly one of the great editors of our time. He has guided the Washington Post with a steady and unerring hand. We all — those of us who work here as well as our readers — have benefited enormously from having him here. Len never let himself be intimidated by the shadow of Ben’s legacy. He brought his own style of leadership.”
Downie said he wants to spend more time with his wife, Janice. He will serve with his predecessor, Ben Bradlee, as a vice-president at large with the Washington Post Company. Weymouth plans to announce a successor soon.