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Ju-Don Roberts, a key player in the merging of the Washington Post main newsroom with the long-separate washingtonpost.com, is taking off. Unreal.

Here’s the memo:

I am sorry to announce that Ju-Don Roberts is stepping down as managing editor of washingtonpost.com to take on an exciting new challenge outside the Post as senior vice president and executive editor of News Corp’s Beliefnet.com in New York.

It is a terrific, entrepreneurial opportunity for Ju-Don after 17 years at the Post in multiple roles, all of which she has admirably handled.

Ju-Don has lead the online coverage on some of the biggest breaking news stories of the last decade: the Sept. 11 attacks, the D.C. sniper and the Virginia Tech shootings. She’s also lead numerous award-winning projects, including Being a Black Man, which won more than a half-dozen awards, and Blue Wall of Silence, which former executive editor Doug Feaver described as the project that represented a watershed moment in the collaboration between the Web and print newsrooms. She also spearheaded the web coverage that helped the Post win the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news on the Virginia Tech shootings. Ju-Don’s terrific journalism skills, great instincts, upbeat personality and get-it-done mindset have been vital to WP.com’s operations and will be missed as we integrate our newsrooms.

Before joining the Post in 1992, first as an intern, Roberts worked at the Washington Times. She returned to the Post’s Metro copy desk in 1995 after a brief stint at the Charlotte Observer. She then moved to WP.com in 1999, serving in a variety of roles including editor of the Metro, Health, Education, Religion, KidsPost, Nation, Science sections; managing editor for features and projects and classified products; managing editor overseeing live online, newsroom operations, 24/7 newsdesk, copy desk, local, hyperlocal, multimedia, news video, business, sports, politics.

Ju-Don is on the board of the Online News Association and the digital task force of the National Association of Black Journalists. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and earned her BA from Howard University.

While I have only worked closely with Ju-Don for the past six months, I have known her for almost 15 years and will deeply miss her always wise and calm advice and leadership. I know this sentiment is shared by all of you who have worked with her at WP.com this past decade. More details on the exact timing of her departure and the many goodbye parties will come later.

Please join me in congratulating Ju-Don and wishing her resounding success in her new career.