In the coming weeks, the Washington Post will be doing what many other publications have done long ago. No, not laying off staffers, though that can never be counted out in this environment. No, not closing down its Sunday magazine, though that, too, is a possibility. No, not going Web-only.
Talking here about merging the print Washington Post with its digital half-sister from across the river, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), which had been in charge of washingtonpost.com for about 12 years—-until Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli took over print and online ops last September.
While the Washington Post worked from the downtown offices at 15th and L, washingtonpost.com worked from the WPNI offices just off the Courthouse Metro stop in Arlington.
And over the years, the separation led to some spectacular inefficiencies, ranging from the daily commutes that people on both sides of the divide had to undertake just to see one another face to face to the deeper divisions enabled by geography and the exigencies of different platforms.
So good on the Post—it’s done paying for paying for its separate-and-unequal Web divide in lost productivity and depressed morale. Now it’s paying for the cultural divide in much smaller denominations—-the cost of snacks and drinks.
Tomorrow, something called Culture Integration Committee will be hosting a “mixer,” “so that WPNI and print-side staffers can get to know each other better….Come for 15 minutes, or stay for an hour. There will be food and drinks. (The keg is back.)”