While at most companies “reorganization” is typically slang for layoffs, in a memo from the Washington Post today, reorganization seems to mean exactly that. In an attempt to streamline their digital and print editions, the paper is placing topics under specific editors who will oversee a staff of reporters and stories in every capacity—print and digital.
Below is an excerpt from the memo issued by executive editor Marcus Brauchli.
Local, National and Business reporters and editors who “commission” or drive coverage will be organized into coverage groups. Decisions about what we cover and who should handle what story will be made by the leaders of these reporting groups. Each reporting group will be responsible for a specific area of coverage and be led by an editor and probably at least one deputy, who may also write.
To give you an idea how this will work, we recently posted a job running Science, Health and Environmental coverage. That editor will have primary responsibility for coverage of those areas, across the paper and the website, and will oversee the reporters on those subjects. Most stories from these coverage groups will be edited on the universal desk throughout the day. The groups will manage blogs and may edit major projects internally. Other groups will be created around subjects such as National Security, Local Business and Development, Social Issues, and so on. We will announce their formation in coming weeks and post available openings for editors and deputies.
This shift sees the promotion of editors. Scott Vance will be promoted from assistant managing editor for news online to news editor. Bob McCartney, currently assistant managing editor for metro news, will become a columnist on metropolitan affairs. Matt Vita will work Emilio Garcio- Ruiz, as the deputy sports editor and Greg Schneider, will serve as deputy to Sandy Sugawara, assuming responsibility for Business.
Though not explicit, this memo hinted at further layoffs down the road. “We also are on track with plans to meld our print and digital newsrooms over the summer and into the fall,” it announced. For now the WaPo seems to be doing exactly what it announced it would do, reorganizing. For the full memo check out the Poynter article here.