The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) is shutting down its bureaus in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, following some layoffs at its online division last week. The goal is to save money by focusing more on politics and local Washington news, the company says. This means all its national bureaus are now gone, and the six correspondents who worked in these bureaus will be offered reassignments in Washington, while three news assistants will be let go, according to a WaPo story.
WaPo is one of the few newspaper companies that has been turning a profit — but that’s mostly because of its diversified revenue streams (the Kaplan educational service and cable company CableOne); ad revenues from both its print and online news businesses were actually down drastically in Q3.
Rafat adds: While the move seems logical — from a business perspective — considering the economic and competitive situation for WaPo, the contradictory statements by exec ed Marcus Brauchli are ridiculous, to say the least: Here’s the first: “The fact is we can effectively cover the rest of the country from Washington…We have for years been able to cover issues around the country for our readers with a corps of traveling reporters.” No, not national issues that need people on ground to be covered. This is a more honest reason why it needs to pull out, from the internal memo sent out on these closures: “At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure, it’s necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the country