WP decides against renewing leases on suburban bureaus
[UPDATE: Washington Post editors have put out a memo, too.] This was posted today on the closed, invite-only Washington Post Guild Facebook page. The message is from the newsroom's Guild rep, Fredrick Kunkle:
As some of you have probably heard already -- and as has been rumored for some time -- the Post has decided to shut down all of its regional bureaus except those in the state capitals of Virginia and Maryland.
Vernon [Loeb, local editor], in a telephone conversation a little while ago, said that the Post's leases on suburban bureaus will not be renewed after they expire, beginning in 2012, except in Richmond and Annapolis, which he said will "never" close.
Vernon also says that although this is obviously another sign of the Post's effort to grapple with the economy and the radical changes in the media business, the closure of the physical buildings does not mean that the Post will reduce its local coverage.
He emphasized that the Post remains committed to covering our region as aggressively as possible. To that end, he said he will also do everything in his power to use some of the savings from the closure of the bureaus to invest in better mobile technology for reporters.
We'll try to update you further as we hear more.
Please remember as we head into this Labor Day weekend that more than ever, tough times require a strong union, and we are only as strong as you are. As the Post continues to shrink, the Guild needs every person it can to become a dues-payiing member.
* @WaPoOmbudsman: "Checking on report that Post is closing regional MD and VA bureaus, except Richmond and Annapolis. Cost cutting. More later."
* @AmyEGardner: "A sad day at The Washington Post, w/news that we're closing all of our local bureaus except Richmond, Annapolis."