Washington Post takes care of Business

March 13, 2009

The press release says that The Washington Post is expanding its “A” section. This is true. It also is eliminating its business section on a standalone basis, except for a more enhanced version that will run on Sundays. Our story has just hit the wire. Read the memo here:

Beginning March 30, we will make several changes in The Post’s presentation of business news and some Style-section features.

Our business coverage will shift into the main news package in the A Section Monday through Saturday. We will have a new business and economics display page inside the section, designed to signal to readers the centrality of economic news, as well as the increasing overlap of political and economic events, in today’s world. The expanded A Section will allow us to make better decisions about story play and length, and to run a leaner, better-organized newspaper.

The A Section will take readers through National and International news, then into the new Economic & Business section, a Washington Business page, the Fed Page, and the Editorial and Op-Ed pages.

The shift of business coverage into A will result in other changes. Rather than run a single section once a week on Washington Business, as we now do each Monday, we will have a daily page dedicated to local business issues. On Monday, our business page will look ahead to the week’s news.

The Post no longer will run full listings of daily stock-price movements Tuesday through Saturday. Instead, we will add a new daily half-page package of statistics and graphics that will show how major national and local stocks fared, how world markets and commodities performed, and what is happening to key interest rates. Readers who want to find comprehensive stock prices will be directed to washingtonpost.com.

We will enhance our Sunday Business section, by including not only full stock-price data from the week, but new tables listing the schedule for major and local earnings releases, U.S. market performances over the past quarter, maps that depict the performance of global markets, a graphic of S&P 500 sectors performance changes, foreign-currency exchange rates and interest rates. Also on Sunday, The Post will include more personal-finance stories aimed at helping individuals and small businesses survive the economic downturn.

In Style, we are shifting some comics online, where readership of such features already is high. One of our two crossword puzzles will end because the syndicate that provides it three days a week has decided to discontinue it, along with the weekly chess and poker columns. In addition, we are adjusting the television listings we offer to reflect prime-time programming.

These moves will allow us to continue providing the features that our readers tell us they most value in the newspaper. They also allow us to save on newsprint-an important objective in these times.

We remain absolutely committed to the strongest, in-depth and authoritative coverage of business locally, economics and
economic-policy nationally, and the hugely important intersection of government, politics and money. The new approach will make that abundantly clear.

Marcus [Brauchli, executive editor]
Liz [Spayd, managing editor]
Raju [Narisetti, managing editor]
Sandy [Sugawara, business editor]

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