Big changes are coming to The Washington Times, with 12 newsroom positions being cut, but the promise of another 25 being added. Most of the positions that were eliminated were characterized by TWT Editor John Solomon as “legacy positions.” Meanwhile, the new positions -many of which are still listed up on the TWT Careers webpage – are geared toward developing more mulit-media capacity in the newsroom.
“Yes, we said goodbye to some people that we’re going to miss,” Solomon told FBDC in a phone interview. “But we are also welcoming a large number of people that are going to bring a new energy, bring a new skill set, and carry some new responsibilities in the news room.”
Solomon is overseeing a bevy of changes at TWT, including replacing their copy desk with a “platform-agnostic” Universal desk, launching a new website, doing more TV hits, and even setting up a radio network. He also stressed repeatedly to us that the cuts were not layoffs, but rather part of a “newsroom expansion,” and that everyone whose job was eliminated was given a chance to apply for the new, multimedia-focused jobs that are being created.
“Everyone knew about this process in November,” Solomon told us. “It was laid out very clearly in a newsroom meeting. We made the decision -for the positions that were being eliminated -not to remove people from the payroll right then, but to give people an extra 6 to 7 weeks on our payroll, with the understanding that if they didn’t successfully compete for a job in one of these other spaces, that their job would officially go away by Dec 16.”
Everyone who was not rehired was officially notified as of Tuesday, Solomon says.
FishbowlDC will be reporting more on developments in The Washington Times newsroom as we get more information in, so check back here for updates.