Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan announced on Monday that after nine years he is stepping down after nine years due to the “decline in civility.”
In a memo to staff, he wrote “As I have shared in conversations with many of you, I have a deep and growing concern about the decline in civility and respectful dialogue in our political process, on social media platforms and more broadly across our society.”
“Many of us can recall an era when people could disagree without being disagreeable,” he continued, adding that current dialogue is “a toxic and corrosive force that threatens our social interactions and weakens the underpinnings of our democracy.”
He explained he will be leading the nonpartisan Center on Public Civility that is being launched by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute and that Jeff Bezos is “personally providing support for the planning and design phase” and “supports my decision to make this move.”
The Washington Post is owned by Nash Holdings LLC, a private company owned by the Amazon CEO. Bezos bought the newspaper in 2013 for $250 million.