The Washington Post Co. announced yesterday that one of its longest tenured executives, “Bo” Jones, is leaving the company to become the CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, the producer of PBS’s Newshour.
Jones has been with The Washington Post Co. for 32 years, serving in various positions. He is currently the vice chairman of the company and chairman of the newspaper.
He told the Post on Thursday in a brief interview that he loves the Post but that “This was an exciting opportunity and that’s what’s really driving it.”
MacNeil and Lehrer were equally effusive in the hiring of Jones.
“It is a happy day for us in public broadcasting,” said Robert MacNeil. “We welcome a man of such rich experience in journalism management to help us keep MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and the NEWSHOUR vital into the future.” “Bo Jones is the ideal person to take us where we must go,” adds Jim Lehrer.
For the Post this is a big loss, not just from the longtime friendship that Jones has had with Post Co. CEO Don Graham but also because the company is still struggling with a poor advertising climate for its flagship newspaper and the virtual evaporation of profits in its Kaplan Education unit, which has helped keep the company afloat in recent years.
But maybe that was the reason that Jones decided it was time to leave. Perhaps he didn’t see a very bright future for the company in this environment and by leaving he wouldn’t be forced to go down with the ship.