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Herewith a memo from Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth on the departure of Rob Curley, the guy who was supposed to turn the Post into a “hyperlocal” monster.
I am sorry to announce that after 20 months at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, Rob Curley has decided to leave for sunnier and warmer pastures – specifically, Las Vegas. Rob has been the architect and driver behind what we have called our “hyperlocal” strategy. With Rob’s vision and his incredible team, we devised a strategy to deliver really local content to the communities that we serve. We started with LoudounExtra.com, which launched in the summer of 2007.
While we are sad to lose Rob, our commitment to the communities we serve is as strong as ever. Thanks to the work of Rob and his team, we will launch Fairfaxextra.com this summer. We will then focus on rolling out other community sites. Our goal is to be able to offer our users hubs for local news and information – news and information that is useful and engaging as well as fun to use and relevant to people’s daily lives.
We are grateful to Rob and his team for providing us with the model, the foundation and the tools on which we will build. Upon Rob’s departure, on June 1 of this year, washingtonpost.com managing editor Ju-Don Roberts will assume editorial responsibility for the community sites and Henry Tam will continue in his role as General Manager for the community sites. Jesse Foltz and Dan Berko will continue their critical work to prepare Fairfaxextra.com and then will turn their attention to new product development. To supplement those developers that we are losing, we will hire developers to focus on our community sites. The New Product team will report in to Jim Brady as part of his oversight of news and content on the web. The developers that we bring in to support and expand our community sites will report in to Henry Tam. Please join me in wishing Rob and those developers accompanying him all the best in their new venture.