Ezra Klein Leaves Washington Post to Launch New Venture

klein-imageWe know this is DC news, but it’s big enough for us to cover as well: Ezra Klein is officially leaving The Washington Post. According to a WaPo memo, Klein — along with Melissa Bell, WaPo’s director of platforms, and Dylan Matthews, a Wonkblog reporter — are leaving to start a new venture. Klein had been with WaPo since 2009.

Klein’s departure has been a few weeks in the making, and frankly, it’s unsurprising. The rumor was that Klein wanted WaPo to pay for this new venture, which apparently carried an $8 million price tag. Wisely, WaPo said no. Now Klein is going to do it on his own.

Below is the full memo announcing Klein’s departure. In it, Klein and Matthews were referred to as “wunderkinds.” Bell was not. Which seems sort of mean.

We regret to announce that Ezra Klein, Melissa Bell and Dylan Matthews are leaving The Post for a new venture.

All three were instrumental in two of The Post’s most successful digital initiatives, Wonkblog and Know More. We plan to continue building those brands and expanding their reach, and we’ll have some exciting announcements related to them in the coming days.

When Ezra joined us in 2009, he was a wunderkind blogger with brash confidence and a burning desire to write a column in the print newspaper. As he leaves us, Ezra is still a brash wunderkind, but now his burning desire has a grander scope: He is looking to start his own news organization, an ambition that befits someone with uncommon gifts of perception and analysis. Ezra’s passion and drive will be missed, but we will take pride in watching him chart out his new venture.

Melissa has played a pivotal role in our digital strategy. As director of platforms, Melissa worked with the embedded developers to introduce WordPress as a secondary CMS, allowing for much of the development experimentation we’ve seen over the last year. She took over blog strategy and worked to hone the number of blogs and strengthen existing brands. She also managed to find time for some writing while here, driving our live coverage expansion, penning a Style column for more than a year, blogging for BlogPost and Style Blog and writing magazine stories. But her biggest strength is her personality, a combination of relentless determination and self-deprecating humor that helped her motivate young developers.

Dylan Matthews is a wunderkind in his own right. A blogger since middle school, Dylan had freelanced for Slate and worked at the American Prospect — before his 18th birthday. He started contributing to Wonkblog while still a student at Harvard and jumped in full-time in 2012. Last year he launched Know More, which was an instant hit. We will miss his humor and sharp instincts for what works on the Web.

Please join us in wishing Ezra, Melissa and Dylan the best and thanking them for their many contributions to The Post.

Greg Schneider
David Cho
Emilio Garcia-Ruiz