Don Graham: Biggest Mistake Was Promoting Brand Instead Of People, Like ‘Appallingly Young’ Ezra Klein

Washington Post CEO Don Graham says the big mistake he made when he was publisher was promoting the Post brand over the brands of some of the talented reporters and editors there. Graham made the comments in a discussion with USA Today publisher Larry Kramer at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York.

“[TV networks] understand that personal brands are great, they want an experience built around personalities,” Graham said. “Newspapers like ours used to promote their internal personalities, and then for some reason shied away from it. When I was publisher, we promoted the brand more than the people, and I think that was a big mistake.”

One of those people is Post wunderkind Ezra Klein, who Graham had some kind words for, sort of. When talking about the paper’s coverage of the fiscal cliff, Graham said:

“One is a guy named Ezra Klein, who is disgustingly young, really appallingly young, but he runs a blog called wonkblog, and he and the people working for him pull together not just the politics, but the numbers that will happen on January 1 if the people that run our country can’t come together,” Graham said.

Good news Ezra, Don likes you! We think.