WaPo’s Brauchli Struggles to Communicate

Every organization needs a solid leader. But according to a new profile of the Washington Post in the Columbia Journalism Review, the DC paper lacks that leader at the top who also connects with his employees.
The story (not online) takes a look at executive editor Marcus Brauchli’s two-year tenure at the DC paper. In it, Brauchli’s described as a smart guy who understands business, but has struggled articulating his vision to the paper’s staff.

Brauchli knows how to read a spreadsheet and how to serve the needs of some online readers. But the Post also needs a leader who is articulate, imaginative, and inspirational, and some of his troops are restless.

The Washington Post has struggled to make waves online, and Brauchli moved in with plans to integrate the Web and paper version. But convincing the paper’s staff of this has been difficult and created some enemies for Brauchli. CJR quoted unnamed former and current staffers, calling Brauchli “bureaucrat,” “cipher,” “organization man,” “undertaker.”

While the boss doesn’t need to tell his employees everything, it would make sense to express his plans enough so they see you as a boss instead of the guy with a big desk and nice office. Particularly at a time when the WaPo undergoes some of its biggest changes in the paper’s history, communication seems key.