*Washington Post* Publisher Katharine Weymouth’s push to integrate the paper’s print and online operations continues to move at a rapid pace with Jan. 1, 2010 as the target. Weymouth told the staffs Thursday via a memo (headlined “Announcement: Completing the Transition to One Company”) that The Washington Post and Washington Post Digital, which operates washingtonpost.com, will merge by New Year’s Day, winding up a process that began soon after Weymouth became publisher and CEO of the Washington Post Media Group in 2008.
Weymouth told the staff: “Our customers — our readers, users, and advertisers — have always thought of us as one organization — The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO). Effective January 1, 2010, we will become that single organization. … Creating one company allows us to maximize our quality and effectiveness by leveraging the talent, processes and resources of these previously separate organizations in a more seamless way.”
Will it help overcome a disastrous 2009? Weymouth promised shareholders at last week’s meeting that she is taking steps to “cut losses dramatically” following a loss of $143 million in the first half of 2009 and that everything possible was being done to reverse the losses without harming long-time viability. But in a stark slide in her presentation, she said, “Doing business as we do it today is not sustainable. We must reduce our costs further. We must reduce our costs fast.” This isn’t likely to make much of a dent now.
Some details from the memo (which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal):
— Staffers of WPD will become WaPo employees. But Weymouth insists that the “unrelenting digital focus that has been WPNI