By Frank James
The incredible shrinking newspaper industry continued its retrenchment Tuesday with the Washington Post's announcement that it is closing its last remaining national bureaus in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
In a memo to staffers, Marcus Brauchli, the paper's executive editor, explained:
Today we have informed our news colleagues in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that we are closing the offices in those cities, effective Dec. 31.
The reporters in those bureaus are being offered new roles here in Washington. Regretfully, the three news aides, who have been dedicated colleagues and are friends of many here, will be let go.
At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure, it's necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the country's politics, policies and government.
We will continue to cover events around the country as we have for decades, by sending reporters into the field. We have a strong tradition of bringing understanding and authority to our coverage of politics and issues that matter, wherever the stories take us. The evidence is visible daily in The Post: our deeply reported narrative series on the human consequences of the economic downturn; our insightful coverage of the healthcare debate, from the efficient hallways of the Mayo Clinic to the raucous townhalls of last August; even the ongoing coverage of the Ft. Hood shootings or the impending 2010 midterm campaigns.
Howard Kurtz, the WaPo's media writer, identified the journalists who have been offered reassignments to Washington:
The journalists affected are Keith Richburg, Barton Gellman and Tomoeh Murakami Tse in New York; Peter Slevin in Chicago, and Karl Vick and television columnist Lisa deMoraes in Los Angeles. Over the past decade, The Post has shuttered bureaus it once maintained in Austin, Denver and Miami.