washingtonpost.com gets ready to move

March 23, 2009

It looks like the wheels are in motion for the eventual transplant of washingtonpost.com’s employees from their enclave in Virginia to the mothership at 1150 15th St, NW, Washington, D.C. An alert tipster spotted this advertisement on Page D4 of the Monday edition of The Washington Post (that would be the Business section, soon to be eliminated):

1515 North Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA

84,000 square feet of sublease space available

Arlington VA @ Courthouse Metro

Top four floor of the building avail

12th floor: 21,177 SF

11th floor 21,177 SFf

10th floor: 6,900-to-21,324 SF

9th floor: 21,324 SF

Great views, furniture available, Cls to restaurants, hotels & shops, Fitness Center with locker room in the building, Computer room with raised floor, Parking.

Then there is contact information for two agents at Summit Commercial Real Estate

Those four floors, as I can say as a washingtonpost.com alumnus, are occupied by the Post Co’s web operations. A post.com spokeswoman confirmed that the ad indeed is for that space.

The move is not entirely surprising. Posties have been expecting it for years. The question for the web workers is what place they will have as the paper asserts more control over its digital operations. Some of my former colleagues are worried that the result will be job cuts, something that would not be entirely surprising at a time when the Post is trying to deal, like other newspapers, with a decline in precious advertising revenue. Then there is a question of culture. The Post has maintained separate print and digital newsrooms for more than a decade. Based on firsthand experience and many published reports, that physical separation has created its own form of culture clash between the old- and new-media types (since eased to some extent, folks have told me).

For now, it’s wait and see…

(Photo: Reuters)

One comment

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If they move to the DC headquarters, will they join the Newspaper Guild? I was told one reason they put the online shop in Rosslyn was because Virginia is a “right to work” state, enabling them to bypass the union.