Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Memo Details Major 'Wash Post' Newsroom 'Re-Organization'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Memo Details Major 'Wash Post' Newsroom 'Re-Organization'

Article excerpt

The Washington Post is instituting a major reorganization of the newsroom, according to a lengthy memo today from Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, which declares the change: "a reorganization to create new reporting groups, streamline editing desks and anticipate the impending integration of our print and digital news operations."

The memo, first posted on the Poynter.org Romenesko site, adds that "a single editor ultimately ought to be able to oversee all versions of a story, whether it appears in print, online or on a BlackBerry or iPhone. Space in the newspaper and editing firepower in general should be allocated based on a day's news priorities, not a predetermined formula."

The entire memo, which includes a string of top management changes, is below:

****************************************

From: Marcus BrauchliSent: 04/16/2009 09:01 AM EDTSubject: Announcement on Restructuring

To the staff:

Today, we are beginning a reorganization to create new reporting groups, streamline editing desks and anticipate the impending integration of our print and digital news operations.

The changes reinforce our longstanding belief in great reporting and writing as the vital center of The Post's journalism. We want to empower journalists and encourage them to work across departments and platforms. In addition, we want to simplify the handling of words, pages, images and new media, building on the prescient move to "two-touch" editing under Len and Phil. Decisions about space and play must happen faster, both in print and online, and in a way that pulls together our now-separate newsrooms. A single editor ultimately ought to be able to oversee all versions of a story, whether it appears in print, online or on a BlackBerry or iPhone. Space in the newspaper and editing firepower in general should be allocated based on a day's news priorities, not a predetermined formula.

These changes will alter the way we do things, but they will not affect the commitment to journalistic depth, authority and excellence that has defined The Post. Just the reverse: We think these steps will help us to adapt more easily to the economic and technological challenges that face us, while preserving the best of our traditions and values.

Key Personnel Changes:

In keeping with our strategic focus on serving readers in and interested in Washington, we will put most news reporters under two senior editors, a National Editor and a Local Editor. Much first-line editing, copyeditingand production will occur on a new Universal News Desk under another senior editor. Together with the executive editor, the managing editors and the deputy managing editor, these people will form the core leadership of them newsroom.

* Kevin Merida, now Assistant Managing Editor for National News, will become National Editor.

* Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, now Assistant Managing Editor for Sports and Weekend Editor, will become Local Editor.

* Sandy Sugawara, now Assistant Managing Editor for Business, will become Editor of the Universal Desk

These changes, which become effective May 1, will set in motion other personnel moves.

* Scott Vance, now Assistant Managing Editor for News online, will become News Editor when our print and online desks merge, working closely with the National and Local editors to drive coverage across platforms.

* Bill Hamilton remains Enterprise Editor, working for Liz andhelping to guide many major projects into the paper and online.

* Bob McCartney, now Assistant Managing Editor for Metro News, will become a columnist on metropolitan affairs.

* Matt Vita, now Emilio's deputy, will become Sports Editor.

* Greg Schneider, now Sandy's deputy, will assume responsibility for Business.

Coverage Groups:

Local, National and Business reporters and editors who "commission" or drive coverage will be organized into coverage groups. …

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