Where’s Bo’s Newsroom Memo?

WaPo puts out internal memos when someone in the newsroom sneezes. So why no pithy departure memo for Bo Jones’ sudden leap to PBS Newshour to become President and CEO? His full name, by the way, for name aficionados is: Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones Jr. He first went to work for WaPo in 1980 as vice president and counsel. He moved to corporate in 2008 when he became Vice Chairman of The Washington Post Company and Chairman of WaPo.

“We will put out memos whenever the most minor person goes,” said a WaPo insider. “He is hardly minor.”

Poynter reported news of The Washington Post Company Chairman leaving the publication late Thursday morning. The report included MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ lengthy, mind-numbing memo. WaPo, how could you let them show you up? You know you know how to write an agonizing, boring memo.

As it happens, there was a more formal release that went out to the wires and to “key people in the newsroom,” explains Washington Post Company Spokeswoman Rima Calderon. The release included good wishes from CEO Donald Graham.

“If I made a list of the greatest contributors to the Post over the last 30 years, Bo Jones would be right up there with Ben Bradlee and Len Downie. Bo won crucial lawsuits for the paper and kept us out of many more; he was a wise and resourceful publisher at a critical time; and his values, character and integrity epitomize what’s best in our business.” Graham continued, “We will miss Bo, but I’m glad that if he is leaving us, he’ll be going to one of the classiest organizations in journalism.”