Washington Post Publisher Reportedly Attempted to Suppress Story on UK Hacking Scandal

Reports have emerged alleging that William Lewis, the newly appointed publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, attempted to prevent the publication of a story linking him to a cover-up in a UK phone hacking scandal. NPR’s David Folkenflik revealed that Lewis offered an exclusive interview in exchange for halting the impending article.

The scandal, originating from Rupert Murdoch’s “News of the World” tabloid, resurfaced due to a lawsuit filed by notable figures, including Prince Harry, Guy Ritchie, and Hugh Grant. Lewis, formerly a senior executive at Murdoch’s News Corporation, has consistently denied any involvement.

In December, shortly after taking on his role at the Post, Lewis reportedly made multiple attempts to convince Folkenflik to drop the story by offering an exclusive interview about the Post’s future.

Despite Lewis’s efforts, NPR went ahead and published the article, titled “New ‘Washington Post’ CEO accused of Murdoch tabloid hacking cover-up,” featuring a 2011 photo of Lewis with Murdoch.

This revelation comes amid reports of tensions between Lewis and former Post executive editor Sally Buzbee regarding the coverage of the hacking scandal. The New York Times detailed an incident where Lewis challenged Buzbee’s decision to publish a story naming him. Subsequently, Buzbee left the Post, replaced by former Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray.

Lewis acknowledged Buzbee’s departure, praising her leadership, while Buzbee chose not to issue a farewell note to staff. The newsroom has experienced a dip in morale following these developments.

Lewis’s attempt to suppress the hacking scandal story coincides with his introduction of a plan to revitalize the newspaper, addressing substantial financial losses and declining audience traffic.

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