Sucking Up to the Boss

Enquirer includes own editor in list of women to watch in 2012

Feb 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

It’s a good thing her last name begins with a “W.”

The Enquirer on Sunday published a high-profile, above-the-fold list of the “20 Professional Women to Watch in 2012.” And, lo and behold, one of the people making the cut was Carolyn Washburn, the editor and vice president at the media company.—-

In other words, the boss lady at the paper that published the list and the supervisor of the people who made the selections.

An introductory blurb to the feature states, “Here are The Enquirer’s 20 Professional Women to Watch in 2012, chosen for business distinction and impact they’ll make this year.”

The honorees were feted with a glowing paragraph describing their jobs and alleged accomplishments, accompanied by a flattering photographic portrait. Recipients were listed in alphabetical order by their last names, placing Washburn at No. 20 on the list, just in case anyone was worried about charges of shameless self-promotion.

Here’s how Washburn is described in her online blurb, as she stares wistfully into the distance while standing on the Covington side of the riverfront, with Cincinnati’s skyline looming in the background.

"Carolyn Washburn, editor and vice president, The Enquirer and In 2012: Carolyn Washburn leads the region's largest news-gathering organization as it expands its print, digital and mobile reach, including introduction this fall of a new, more compact Enquirer. Her goal: More investigations, watchdog reports, storytelling, community leadership, reader engagement. Besides The Enquirer, Washburn oversees content of, 238 community websites, a growing mobile business, a social network operation and 26 community newspapers. Resident of: Anderson Township. Age: 49. Family: Married, two daughters and a son. Note: Washburn did not participate in the selection of these 20 women.”

Despite the disclaimer at the end of Washburn’s bio, readers are left wondering who made the selections and what criteria were applied.

A Cincinnati native, Washburn was hired in January 2011 as the paper's editor in charge of all news operations. She came to The Enquirer from The Des Moines Register in Iowa.

Washburn previously worked with Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan while both were at The Idaho Statesman. Buchanan made the selection for the local job.

If I may be so bold, Ms. Washburn, that dress really picks up the color in your eyes.