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Former Style editor Ned Martel‘s slow-motion exit from the Washington Post is finally over. More than a year after Martel left Style to cover the presidential campaign for the paper, and ended up doing a surprising amount of fashion coverage instead, he’s leaving the Post altogether to work for a TV production company.
“We wish Ned the best in Hollywood and hope he flourishes in prime time,” write executive editor Marcus Brauchli and managing editor Liz Spayd in a newsroom email this morning, available in full below. Martel is headed to Ryan Murphy Productions, the company behind Glee and American Horror Story, for a writing job that the editors describe as “a West Coast gig that promises more edge than Washington can offer up,” whatever that means.
Judging by reports from Martel’s two-year tenure at the top of Style, he has the experience to write a spin-off called Newspaper Horror Story. While running Style, Martel:
- Ran the bizarro wedding column that got Sally Quinn booted from the section.
- Came up with the charticle idea that precipitated the tragi-comic Manuel Roig-Franzia/Henry Allen punchout.
- Lost fashion critic Robin Givhan to Tina Brown.
In a story written after Martel’s May 2011 departure from his section, Harry Jaffe laid a few more crimes against newspapering on the outgoing editor, and took a skeptical view of the spin that his new job was actually a step up: “No one believes Martel would take a writing job of his own volition, without anyone to take his place.”
But it wasn’t all bad. In their email, Spayd and Brauchli praise Martel for taking Style in a new direction, and for recruiting someone who’s done much better at the Post than he did: Mitt Romney bullying story reporter Jason Horowitz.
Brauchli and Spayd’s full memo:
After a dynamic stint both editing and writing, Ned Martel is leaving The Post for a West Coast gig that promises more edge than Washington can offer up. He will be moving to Los Angeles to join the writing team at Ryan Murphy Television, the creative minds behind “Glee” and “American Horror Story” among other projects.
In partnership with Lynn Medford, Ned oversaw Style for two years, and steered feature writers and critics toward the provocative, the undiscovered and the unorthodox. He spotted new talent, including Jason Horowitz, and helped guide the staff’s graceful turn toward digital that Frances continues to build on today.
For the past year, Ned focused on his own writing, looking toward those with status or wealth or an interest in attaining it. He often found stories that others hadn’t seen, like the saga of Martin Greenfield, the tailor to presidents and a man who learned to sew in Nazi death camps.
We wish Ned the best in Hollywood and hope he flourishes in prime time.