Vox Co-Founder Ezra Klein Exiting for NY Times, Top Editor Lauren Williams Leaving to Launch Non-Profit
Vox, the flagship news site of Vox Media, is losing its top two editorial execs: Ezra Klein, co-founder and editor-at-large and founder, is leaving to join the New York Times’ opinion department, and editor-in-chief and SVP Lauren Williams will exit to launch Capital B, a local and national nonprofit news organization serving Black audiences.
Klein said he will join the Times in January.
“After nearly eight amazing years building, editing, and working at @voxdotcom, I am leaving to join
@nytopinion, writing a reported column on policy and the policymaking process, and hosting an interview podcast,” Klein wrote in a Twitter thread.
“For me, I’ve been managing and building now for more than a decade, going back to Wonkblog. But I’ve been feeling the pull this year to go back to reporting, writing, and podcasting, full-time,” Klein wrote. “That I’ll get to do so at @nytopinion, which I’ve read since I was a kid, is truly a dream.”
Williams, who joined Vox in 2014 and was promoted to be Vox’s EIC in 2017, will be departing in February 2021. She plans to launch Capital B in mid-2021.
“The 6+ years I’ve spent helping to build Vox into what it is today have been the most rewarding of my career. I love Vox, and I love my team,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “There’s only one thing that could compel me to leave: the opportunity to create something I’ve dreamed about for a decade.” Williams previously worked at Mother Jones and TheRoot.com.
Prior to co-founding Vox, Klein was columnist and editor at the Washington Post, a policy analyst at MSNBC, and a contributor to Bloomberg. He has written for the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books and appeared on TV shows including “Face the Nation,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The Daily Show.”
Vox co-founder and publisher Melissa Bell, in a note to staff, said the site will be filling at least 10 key roles in the next few months. “We’ve begun an extensive search for new leaders to fill Lauren’s responsibilities, which we’re splitting into two roles: a senior vice president, focused on the business side of Vox, and an editor in chief role to set the editorial vision for Vox,” she wrote.
“The first year we started Vox, we used to talk about making something that would outlast all of us – an institution of lasting value, an organization that would makes its own contributions to the industry, that would become more than we could imagine, that would foster a culture that would create things we couldn’t dream up,” Bell added. “That’s happened, in part thanks to Lauren and Ezra’s work, and it continues to happen. We are so proud of what Vox is, and we can’t wait to see where the future will take us.”
Last year, Vox Media acquired New York Media, publisher of New York magazine.