Cox: More depressing newspaper news

December 3, 2008

You don’t need another depressing analysis of a depressing story about newspapers, so we’ll spare you everything but the press release. We will note, however, that it’s getting harder to say, “Let the wires get it” when the wires are slimming down too. And this is hardly the first DC bureau to get nailed.

ATLANTA (December 2, 2008) – Cox Newspapers has announced its plans to close its Washington, D.C.-based national and international news bureau on April 1, 2009. This decision follows Cox’s earlier announcement to offer its newspaper operations in Texas, North Carolina and Colorado for sale.

Cox’s metro newspapers The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News will manage their own Washington and international newsgathering independently following the national bureau’s closing through dedicated correspondents in D.C. Eligible employees of the bureau will be offered generous severance packages and continued employment through March 31, 2009.

The closing does not impact Cox Television, another subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, which will continue to operate its own Washington broadcasting news bureau.

“The Washington news bureau and its chief, Andy Alexander, have an impressive and storied history in Washington and in our company,” said Sandy Schwartz, Cox Newspapers president. “For more than 30 years, the reporters of this bureau have broken an untold number of stories that have had an impact on the lives of our readers in cities and towns all across the U.S. The Cox Washington bureau has won or shared virtually every major American journalism award, including the Pulitzer Prize.”

In addition to correspondents in New York and on the West Coast, Cox’s international desk currently has reporters deployed in London, Jerusalem, Beijing, Mexico City and the Caribbean. Cox foreign correspondents have literally spanned the globe to provide quality coverage, often at great personal risk. In years past, Cox correspondents traveled undercover with mujahideen rebels fighting Russian forces in Afghanistan to covering the collapse of the Soviet Union from Moscow and the tear-down of the Berlin Wall at the end of the Cold War.

At the rate that ad revenue is declining, this will be what the j-school kids read about one day in history books.

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