‘International Herald Tribune’ Names Wells Editor

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(AP) The International Herald Tribune named Walter Wells as its new top editor Monday, putting the former Tribune managing editor and New York Times veteran in charge temporarily as the Times assumes full control of the newspaper from The Washington Post.

Wells replaces executive editor David Ignatius, a former Washington Post editor who is returning to the Post to write Op-Ed columns.

The shake-up follows The New York Times Co.’s announcement in October that it was buying The Washington Post Co.’s stake in the English-language newspaper. Before the deal, which is expected to close by year’s end or early 2003, the Times and Post had each owned 50%.

The parting was acrimonious, however, with the Post suggesting in a memo that it had been strong-armed into the deal after the Times threatened to start a competitor to the Tribune. Ignatius was also quoted as expressing concerns about the new ownership.

Wells, 59, will become a consulting editor while the deal is completed, and assume the title of acting managing editor upon completion of the deal. A Times spokeswoman said the appointment was not permanent, but more specifics were not available.

Wells, a one-time assistant national editor at the Times, spent 21 years at the Tribune before leaving in 2001. He has spent the last year helping his wife, cookbook author Patricia Wells, with her business.

Ignatius, 52, will return to the Post as an associate editor and twice-weekly columnist for its Op-Ed page. He has been the Tribune‘s executive editor since 2000. Before that he was an editor at the Post and a reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

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