Washington Post journalist named executive editor at Crown

September 8, 2020 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — A prize-winning journalist at The Washington Post has been named vice president and executive editor at Crown, a prominent division of Penguin Random House where authors include Barack and Michelle Obama.

Madhulika Sikka will acquire and develop books on subjects ranging from politics to entertainment, the publisher announced Tuesday. Sikka, who will join Crown next month, is currently executive producer of audio at the Post and previously worked at NPR and with Ted Koppel for ABC television’s “Nightline” among other media outlets.

“I have long admired Madhulika’s finely honed journalistic instinct for great stories, as well as her unwavering commitment to advancing and creating opportunity for new voices and perspectives,” Crown executive vice president and publisher David Drake said in a statement. “Throughout her career, she has also been a generous and discerning champion of books and authors across many genres, and I’m confident she will not only attract great talent in her new role but also enrich and expand our publishing horizons.


Crown’s announcement marks the latest high profile hiring that breaks with the industry’s long tradition of whites in positions of power.

In July, Simon & Schuster named former New York Times journalist Dana Canedy senior vice president and publisher of its namesake imprint, the first time a Black woman had held that job. Also that month, Lisa Lucas was appointed publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books, another Penguin Random House division. Lucas, currently executive director of the National Book Foundation, will start her new job early next year.