The Mirror

Washington Post releases state of the newsroom address, but is it all smoke and mirrors?

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Ever since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has acquired The Washington Post, there have been no noticeable changes to This Town‘s establishment newspaper. But today, Executive Editor Marty Baron has released a state of the newsroom memo to staff, detailing all the great and exciting things to come.

Is he blowing smoke up all our asses? Will the Washington Post ever be an enticing read?

Well, he thinks so, anyway.  He uses words like “excitement, impressive, growth, and transformation.”

Highlights of Baron’s statement:

  • They’re hiring for Adam Kushner‘s digital analysis team for commentary. They recently stole Kushner from National Journal Magazine.
  • Fred Barbash will return to WaPo from Reuters. He’ll head up the paper’s graveyard shift.
  • Jim Tankersley will lead a digital initiative. They’re hiring for his team.
  • baronphotoupdate-232x300The state of Ezra Klein‘s Wonkblog is not clear. Baron dodges any update on this whatsoever, writing, “We are hiring for that team [Tankersley] while continuing our years of robust and enthusiastic investment in Wonkblog (and its most recent spinoff, KnowMore).” Atlantic’s Derek Thompson turned them down to work there. Okay, so WTF?
  • They’ve added hires to The Fix and plan to hire more. They plan to add five new political reporters this year.
  • They’ve hired a staffer to produce video for their “Reliable Source” gossip column.
  • They’re allegedly planning a site resign that will hopefully prevent readers from getting stuck in a black hole when visiting the site. Baron says, “We also will embark on a long-planned site redesign that should improve load speeds and navigation while enhancing the overall reader experience. That will involve new hires.”
  • A breaking news desk will operate 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • WaPo magazine will allegedly get bigger than postage stamp and they will allegedly be switching up their incredibly stale features. Sigh. Let’s hope so. We’ll believe it when we see it. Baron says it’ll be “bigger in dimension and in the number of pages, with a new design and a range of new features.”
  • Baron says there’s more, but he can’t talk about it.