Martin Baron, 66, editor of the Washington Post, announced two weeks ago that he would step down on the 28th, triggering a chair dance in major US headlines.
On top of that, the editors of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Reuters are expected to leave, along with several smaller vehicles, such as the Vox.
Several changes have been expected for some time, but have been mitigated by Donald Trump, who has maintained an intermittent questioning position with the press for five years between the campaign and the government.
The changing of the guard followed more closely is that of the NYT, a newspaper that closed the five years with 7.5 million subscribers, some of which was brought by resistance to the former president, in what has come to be known as the name of “Trump bump”.
Three months ago, since Trump’s defeat in the US election, Dean Baquet has already edited the New York newspaper in Los Angeles, where he even bought a house, as revealed by the famous magazine Ok!
He says he will return to New York when the newspaper ends his isolation, but he must resign until next year, when he turns 66, the maximum age allowed internally.
With Baron and Norman Pearlstine, 78, of the LA Times, a whole generation of editorial commanders are leaving the scene.
Baron had previously directed the Miami Herald and the Boston Globe, including the cover that culminated in the film “Spotlight”, in which he is portrayed by actor Liev Schreiber.
Pearlstine has edited the Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and others. Baquet had previously been editor of the same LA Times and now it is speculated that he could return to the post, live there, but he denies it.
What is projected, even in the newspapers that they still do, is that the three and the others should give way to a generation of women and, ultimately, to ethnic minorities.
In the Los Angeles newspaper, for example, there are names like Kimi Yoshino and Julia Turner, from the newsroom itself, Janice Min, from the Hollywood Reporter, and Anne Kornblut, now on Facebook.
For the LA Times and the Washington Post, another name repeatedly cited is that of black journalist Kevin Merida, editor at ESPN.
At the NYT, it can be said that the change started ten years ago and is only getting wider. Baquet, who is black, was preceded by a woman, Jill Abramson.
And last year, two women were selected for leadership positions: Meredith Kopit Levien, president of the NYT Company, and Kathleen Kingsbury, editor-in-chief of Opinion, with a hierarchical position equivalent to that of Baquet, who heads current events.
The pressure on women and blacks in positions of power, in the three newspapers and throughout the American press, comes in the wake of movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, which have led to rebellions in the newsrooms they themselves.
But the final decision rests with controllers, tech billionaires like Jeff Bezos of the Washington Post and Patrick Soon-Shiong of the LA Times or the Sulzberger family of the NYT.
Bezos has just left the executive chairmanship of Amazon to, according to reports, focus on the space projects and the newspaper he bought seven years ago, starting with the choice of the new publisher. Baron was already in office at the time of the acquisition.
NYT publisher AG Sulzberger, 40, also inherited Baquet, when he took over the paper in 2018, and will now make his first choice, in fact.
At the Reuters news agency, which is under less pressure from outside opinion, the decision to replace editor-in-chief Stephen Adler will be taken by the Canadian company Thomson Reuters until April.
Adler, 65, is another generation starting to leave the scene. He edited Businessweek before joining the agency, where he has directed 2,500 journalists around the world for ten years, from New York.
Jeff Zucker, 55, president of CNN, is a special case for his age and not a journalist but a television executive, having chaired NBC when Trump became the host of the reality show The Apprentice.
For seven years on the news channel, he prioritized Trump’s coverage of the campaign, then made CNN a distinctly oppositional vehicle, with a growing audience, to the point of overtaking Fox News.
But the acquisition of CNN by telecoms group AT&T two years ago sparked corporate conflicts, with a streaming project as a business model, no longer pay TV, and Zucker announced he would be leaving before the end of the year.
Baron, the most iconic of the group of publishers, took a brief look at the cover of the Trump era, addressing German magazine Der Spiegel, with a central conclusion:
“We should have been a lot more direct about Trump’s lie, his lies, from the start. He was the president, duly elected, but he explored it, explored our principles.”
He left an alert, for the press as a whole: “We have never been faced with this level of conspiratorial thinking. Journalism, as a profession, is not ready to cover this.”