Deborah Howell, Newhouse D.C. Vet, Named New ‘WP’ Ombud

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By: E&P Staff

Deborah Howell, Washington bureau chief and editor of Newhouse News Service, will succeed Michael Getler as ombudsman at The Washington Post late this year, according to a memo to staff from Editor Leonard Downie Jr., posted at the Poynter Institute’s Romenesko site.

Howell, former senior vice-president and editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has been Newhouse Washington bureau chief for the past 15 years.

“Deborah Howell knows newsroom and newspapers and all that they must be to their readers and staffers,” Downie wrote. “She has directed coverage of all types of news — local, national and international. She cares about the newspaper as a reader and is eager to help us understand how best to appeal to and serve our readers. While she has never worked in our newsroom, she has read The Post as her hometown newspaper since 1990.

“Like those who have gone before her, Deborah will be a completely independent contractor. Her judgments and op-ed columns will be all her own. She will join the newspaper later this year. Mike Getler has graciously agreed to continue in the job until then.”

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