Post Modernism Theories

will lewis
The challenges faced by The Washington Post’s new C.E.O., Will Lewis, are further compounded by the relatively limited ambitions Jeff Bezos has for the paper. Photo: Carlotta Cardana/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
January 5, 2024

On Wednesday night, Alex MacCallum, The Washington Post’s newish chief revenue officer, informed colleagues that she would be resigning from Jeff Bezos’s beleaguered newspaperco less than six months after joining and a mere two days after the arrival of its new C.E.O., Will Lewis. The rush announcement was precipitated by my earlier report that MacCallum, a digital product wunderkind previously involved in both The New York Times and CNN’s subscription growth efforts, had been in talks to return to CNN, where she would be reunited with her former Times boss Mark Thompson. In her new remit, MacCallum will oversee his ambitious effort to restructure the 24/7 news network into a multiplatform, semi-subscription-supported, digital-first brand—a mega mega-midmarket Times of sorts. Her appointment is now likely to be announced in a matter of weeks, if not days.

This game of musical chairs is illustrative of the broader moment in news media. The Times, the Post and CNN are, along with NBC News, the most influential legacy newscos in the mainstream media space and, by virtue of either scale or ownership, among the best positioned to extend their influence in the post-print, post-linear era via the sort of digital strategies in which MacCallum is well versed. The Times has already achieved that distinction, having transformed itself over the last decade—under Thompson’s leadership, and with MacCallum’s help—into a multifaceted digital news and lifestyle brand with more than 10 million paying subscribers. For the last several years, in fits and starts, its competitors have been trying, with varying degrees of success, to engineer similar strategies. Hence Thompson’s appointment at CNN, and Lewis’s appointment at the Post