Washington Post Forms New Online Publishing Unit: The Slate Group With Weisberg As Chairman

The reorganization continues at The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) Co following the departure of Caroline Little as CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. The latest: the creation of The Slate Group, a new online publishing unit including Slate, Slate V, The Root and upcoming business site The Big Money, with Slate editor Jacob Weisberg as the chairman and Editor-in-Chief. The new group “will develop and manage a family of web-only magazines, new ventures and acquisitions,” according to an internal memo that just went out. Slate Publisher John Alderman will lead the business side, adding the title of Slate Group general manager. Both will report to WaPo chairman and CEO Donald Graham. Former Slate deputy editor David Plotz follows Weisberg as editor of Slate Magazine.

Rafat adds: As to the rationale of making it into a separate group, the statement explains, though slightly obtusely: “”The Slate Group is an Internet start-up within the framework of an existing media company,” said Weisberg. “The writers and editors here have over 250 years of combined experience producing Internet-only media. In expanding into new areas, we intend to draw on everything that we’ve learned collectively about what works on the Web.” Who came up with this 250 years line? Seriously…

Updated: The internal memo announcing the new group:

“Today we are announcing the creation of The Slate Group, a new online publishing unit from The Washington Post Co. which includes Slate, Slate V and The Root. The Slate Group will develop and manage a family of web-only magazines, new ventures and acquisitions.

Jacob Weisberg will be Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Slate Group, overseeing editorial direction and identifying and cultivating new ventures. I will oversee business operations by taking on the position of General Manager of The Slate Group in addition to my roles as Publisher of Slate and VP of Business Development at WPNI. Both of us will report to Don Graham…more after the jump

Having a team that includes some of the original pioneers of Web journalism along with new faces that embrace the medium has allowed Slate to create original, savvy sites that continue to grow. The successful growth of Slate and Slate V and the impressive launch of The Root were driving forces in forming The Slate Group as a separate Web publisher and marks The Post Company’s continued focus on web innovation.

The Slate Group is a part of a family that, along with WPNI, leads the charge in online innovation against its competitors. We will still work closely with WPNI for advertising sales, marketing, technology and other business operations as those functions exist today.

With Jacob’s new leadership role, we’re thrilled to announce that former Deputy Editor David Plotz becomes Editor of Slate. David becomes the magazine’s third editor and has been with the magazine since its founding in 1996, serving in a variety of capacities including Deputy Editor for the past several years. He has won numerous awards for his writing and is also the author of the book The Genius Factory. He is not only a brilliant journalist but someone who has the respect and fondness of everyone at Slate, and we’re confident the magazine will flourish under his leadership. Please join us in congratulating David!

John Alderman”