Sally Buzbee
Sally Buzbee

Sally Buzbee, who has been executive editor and senior vice president at AP since 2017, is taking the reins as executive editor at the Washington Post, effective June 1.

Buzbee succeeds Marty Baron, who stepped down in February. She will be the first woman to have the Post’s top editorial job.

Post publisher Frederick J. Ryan said that Buzbee, whose selection was regarded as a surprise by many of those following the search, was the “runaway unanimous choice” after interviews with him and Post owner Jeff Bezos.

Buzbee had also been on the shortlist for the top job at the Los Angeles Times. That position went to ESPN’s Kevin Merida, a former WaPo managing editor who the Post’s Paul Farhi reported had been considered a leading candidate to run the paper.

Before being tabbed to lead AP, Buzbee had been the organization’s Washington bureau chief and also served as its Middle East regional editor.

Ryan called her “an inspiring leader and accomplished journalist in the finest traditions” of the Post.

In an interview with the New York Times, Buzbee said that diversity and inclusion had been a major focus for her at AP. “Everybody brings their own background and experiences to journalism, and that enriches journalism,” she said.