City Desk

Glasser To Step Down As WaPo National Boss

Several sources at the Washington Post are reporting that Susan Glasser, the top editor for national news at the paper, will be leaving her post. Glasser took over as assistant managing editor for national in late 2006 and started ginning up controversy from the very start. Underlings chafed at her sharp-elbowed, hard-driving ways, and top managers at washingtonpost.com also had difficulty collaborating with her.

This past winter, Tom Wilkinson, a senior editor at the paper, conducted a months-long inquiry into Glasser's reign at national and found layers of dissatisfaction with her approach to motivating her people and deciding what to feature on the front page of the newspaper.

Yesterday Glasser was reportedly in and out of meetings with the paper's two top officials, and this morning the newsroom is on fire with talk about her departure.

Details are still scarce. City Desk will be aggressively updating this story.

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  • edward

    Lori Montgomery wins.

  • Jon

    Always happy to see a lib fired.

  • anewsjunkie

    interesting.

  • Erik Wemple

    To edward: Not getting your comment about Lori Montgomery. To the best of my knowledge, she hasn't been involved in the Glasser drama in any way.

  • jon

    peter baker is at the NYT bureau right now interviewing to be the fed reporter. it's the same job that Postie Jonathan Weisman just turned down.

  • newsjunkie

    The commission investigating Glasser was unprecedented and unfair. Frankly, if she were a man, she would have been promoted after the Post won those 6 Pulitzers. The situation highights the perpetuation of male dominated hierarchies that reign supreme in Corporate America.

  • Joe Inkstain

    Newjunkie, you're comments are absurd. Susan was arrogant and lacked leadership skills. Just like George W. Bush after his 2004 re-election, she overestimated her mandate. Se lacked the political capital to lead by fiat because she got too much power too early. She was intoxicated by it. She had spent her years before she got the AME job sucking up to power and alienating her peers. But the Washington Post is a reporters' newspaper. And if the the reporters -- the people she treated like the help -- don't like you, you're doomed. While the commission might have been unprecedented, her fate was not. People get sandbagged in this profession all the time. Including lots of men. Sometimes it's justified. Sometimes it is not. But you do a disservice to women when you cry sexism, because sexism does exist...but this ain't that.

  • jon

    Thank you Joe Inkstain! In fact, Susan was especially nasty to women. But her biggest problem was hubris and her complete disdain for the staff and her colleagues. What Len and Phil never got was that she talked about them, behind their backs, the same way she talked about her staff to them.

  • Ruby

    newsjunkie, I think your comments are far from absurd. It is it indeed interesting that the national editor is pushed out after the newspaper she leads wins six Pulitzers. Her management style, be it ideal or otherwise, resulted in great success for the Post, success that has now been overshadowed by, as we say, office drama. One would expect better from all involved. Susan made waves because waves were necessary and expected. That being said, I'm sure she will go on to do even greater things.

  • anon

    Andover + Harvard = Often Deadly

  • anon2

    Susan has ZERO friends or supporters at the paper, aside from her husband, bill hamilton, rajiv and some losers she hired so Ruby must fit into one of those categories. A very senior editor recently described her as "the most hated person in the newsroom."

    She had ZERO to do with the pulitzers and everyone in the newsroom noticed that she was one of the only AMEs who was not thanked, or credited, by any winner.

    Only Susan and her extremely small band of henchmen think she made "necessary waves." She LIED about Eli Saslow's career prospects at Sports Illustrated in order to steal him from Sports; she almost lost Millbank to Time Magazine because she ordered him, on New Years Eve, to Iowa at the last minute and chewed him out days early for not being productive enough; more than 2 dozen people walked off her staff and she replaced them with lightweights and yesmen, like Peter, who did whatever she said. Len and Phil should be ashamed of themselves for letting this go on for as long as it did - there is no espcaping responsibility here.

  • Markus

    It would be a shame if Peter Baker left as a result of the situation with Susan. Susan may be a hated, condescending manager but Peter Baker is not only one of the most gifted reporters at the Post, he is also one of the nicest.

  • anewsjunkie

    susan glasser had not a thing to do with the pulitzers-- nothing. the work had been started before her watch. and by the time they were announced, her stock was so low, not one reporter felt obligated to thank her during the ceremony.
    this notion that she had to be aggressive and cruel and ignorant in her management style to bring about change is ridiculous on its face. there is no excuse for her disrespectful behavoir toward her colleagues. as for the change- she started "the trail". So? what was so visionary about a blog like those everyone and their brother has up on the web now?

  • semperfi

    Do any of you people actually work for the paper? If not, are you really qualified to opine? Because I gotta tell you, as someone who works there and has worked there for two decades, the place is chock full of, to use the words cited above, "nasty", "arrogant", "aggressive", "cruel", "disrespectful", "condescending", "power-intoxicated" people who also "lack leadership skills" and are full of "hubris" and "disdain" for anyone who doesn't kiss their ass. So my question is: Why Susan? Why now, in the middle of the campaign (the paper's prime time)? And why in this sudden, very public way? The whole thing reeks of sexism, at best, and managerial catastrophe, at worst. But what more can we expect from a place that promoted someone allegedly as horrible as Glasser year in, and year out. Are we expected to believe that she started behaving this way only 1.5 years ago? She's always been that way, and they loved her for it, until it was no longer convenient for them to do so. The lesson here? Be an asshole, but only in the right way. Do it the wrong way, and you'll get a plum project alongside Don Graham (as opposed to a pink slip).

    But, oh yes, "we are so lucky to work at the Washington Post."

  • silentlurker

    enough with the charges of sexism. it's really offensive, and it diminishes true instances of gender bias. she wasn't even a particularly talented reporter or writer.

  • newsreader

    "She wasn't even a particularly talented reported or writer?" Silentlurker, you're not very good at hiding the fact that you have no idea what you're talking about. Few of even her most passionate objectors would disagree with her talent as a news woman.

  • silentlurker

    # newsreader Says:
    Apr. 23, 2008, at 10:43 pm

    “She wasn’t even a particularly talented reported or writer?” Silentlurker, you’re not very good at hiding the fact that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Few of even her most passionate objectors would disagree with her talent as a news woman.

    Whatever newsreader. Or Susan Glasser's mom.

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