Marty Baron announces that he is retiring from the executive editor slot at the Washington Post, effective Feb. 28. Baron has presided over a period of both critical acclaim and financial growth for the paper. Under his management, the Post has won 10 Pulitzers, the number of news staffers has grown from 580 to over 1,000, and its digital-only subscriber base has jumped by close to a million over the past year, currently coming in at more that 3 million. Baron joined the Post in 2013 after a decade-plus tenure as executive editor at the Boston Globe, where he oversaw its Pulitzer-winning coverage of the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. Before that, he led the Miami Herald. Barron says that he is leaving the Post “well-positioned for the future,” with broadened coverage and more journalists. The paper says it plans to look at both internal and external candidates for Baron’s replacement. “Our success these past several years would not and simply could not have happened without you,” Post owner Jeff Bezos wrote about Baron in an Instagram post.
Joe Ricketts, who owned news sites DNAinfo and Gothamist, is getting back into the journalism business. Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, is starting up Straight Arrow News, an Omaha-based outlet that says it will produce bias-free coverage. Ricketts merged DNAinfo into Gothamist when he purchased the New York news outlet in 2017. He closed the merged company shortly thereafter, following a vote by employees to unionize. A longtime contributor to Republican candidates (his son, Pete Ricketts is the current Republican governor of Nebraska), Ricketts says he thinks there’s a “business opportunity” for news with no professed slant. “I think there’s a gap in the market—there’s no source for unbiased, fact-based news,” Ricketts told the Omana World-Herald.
WGN America is also jumping on the “fact-based and unbiased” news bandwagon with its rebrand as NewsNation. Set to relaunch on March 1, NewsNation will be available in 75 million homes, thanks to new carriage deals that increased its reach by 8.5 million households. NewsNation will also add two hours of live programming to its Monday-to-Friday broadcast schedule. WGN America was acquired by local TV station chain Nexstar in 2019 as part of its $4.1 billion purchase of Tribune Media. “Rebranding WGN America as NewsNation underscores the network’s clearly defined mission of delivering fact-based and unbiased news,” said Nexstar networks division president Sean Compton.