It’s Official. A WaPo Memo Worth Reading

The earth has moved, or someone is having quite the dance party over at WaPo. The publication has turned over a new leaf on its internal memos in that they are now readable and improving in entertainment value as each day passes. Today comes the news that Claudia Townsend is returning to editing and will be an editor for the National section. “Claudia is known for her patience, her discipline, her versatility, and her exuberance,” the memo says, while hailing her as a “soothing voice” of transition to a new publishing system. She’s also something of an institution – she came from the Washington Star in 1981 and has held more than six positions at WaPo.

Townsend begins her new post on Aug. 8.

See the internal memo…

We think we just hit some kind of double jackpot. Not only have we landed a
hard-charging, idea factory to lead our Health, Science and Environment
team, we’ve also grabbed the in-house expert on the wild and woolly world
of Methode!

Claudia Townsend needs no introduction as the calm, soothing voice of our
transition to a new publishing system. As director of newsroom operations
for the last six years, she has supervised our IT and research staffs, and
assisted with newsroom administration.

Now we welcome her return to editing. She will replace Frances Stead
Sellers as the nimble juggler of a weekly section, a weekly page, and a
steady flow of news and enterprise. Claudia is known for her patience, her
discipline, her versatility, and her exuberance.

For relative newcomers to The Post, Claudia arrived in 1981 from the
Washington Star, where she had been assistant national editor. She started
as an editor on Metro. She has served as city editor, metropolitan editor
and deputy metropolitan editor. She joined the Post’s Editorial Board in
2000, then returned to the newsroom as Financial’s day editor at the end of

She began her career at The Atlanta Constitution, where she covered local,
state and national politics. She later worked in President Jimmy Carter’s
White House as an associate press secretary.

We are thrilled that she has joined National to guide our group of health,
science and environmental specialists. Please congratulate Claudia on her
new assignment, which she will begin on Aug. 8.

Kevin       Marilyn