Six Months Into His Job, WaPo Publisher Fred Ryan Announces Layoffs
In a lengthy note to Washington Post staff on March 30, Publisher Fred Ryan announced a series of layoffs as well as a bunch of new hires with more to come.
The layoffs came in graph nine of a puffy statement that included lots of praise, accolades and cheery talk, including the hire of Alex Treadway, formerly of The Daily Caller, for the newly created position of V.P. of Leadership Market Sales.
No doubt those who’ve trashed The Daily Caller in recent weeks — ahem, the ever obsessed Erik Wemple* — will warmly welcome him into the fold, as they are lucky to have him.
Wemple couldn’t bother to write about the layoffs because that would mean that he would have to somehow tear himself way from his obsessive topics of Politico‘s Mike Allen and near daily stories on The Daily Caller.
Getting back to those layoffs — which Wemple can find on WaPo‘s own PR Blog — Ryan says they are part of the “transformation” and “thoughtful analysis” of the Post‘s newsroom structure.
“As a result, we have decided to internally transfer or eliminate certain non-Newsroom positions, where appropriate,” he wrote. “That process has been concluded and most of those directly affected by these structural changes have already been notified. Decisions that eliminate or restructure positions are difficult to make and even harder to receive. We came to these decisions after much careful deliberation and with great appreciation for the colleagues who feel the impact of this realignment.”
But let’s get back to happy news, shall we?
* total digital audience had 48 million unique visitors last month.
* this is 63 percent growth over the past year.
* reporter Carol Leonnig won a Polk Award for her coverage of the Secret Service.
* Dan Balz won the Toner Award.
Weirdly Ryan sounds a lot like BuzzFeed!
“We are attracting one of the largest and fastest growing millennial audiences among major media outlets, an impressive sign that Washington Post journalism is becoming essential to a new generation of readers,” he wrote.
The memo reports that WaPo has hired 17 journalists in the first three months of the year, including the return of Lois Romano, who left WaPo for to be a senior political writer at Politico but lacked the sort of high octane work ethic for which the publication is known. In 2013, Politico switched her over to events editor. She’ll be editor of Washington Post Live, the conference and events platform. Ryan promises more hires are on the way, including a new leader of PostTV.
Finances are A-OK (always an interesting thing to note when you’re announcing layoffs).
“From a financial standpoint, I am pleased to report that the company finished 2014 strong and, with the end of the first quarter upon us, 2015 is off to an excellent start,” he wrote.
Ryan concluded by saying he looks forward to hashing out all the minutia of these announcements at a Town Hall on April 8, which is Wednesday.
*As many know, Wemple helped run that ridiculous Allbritton-owned pub “TBD” into the ground. Much like the name suggests, it never quite got off the ground.