.Washington Post Company Explains Gazette Closure in Email to Employees
Washington Post Company Explains Gazette Closure in Email to Employees
Email says the Post tried unsuccessfully to find buyers for the Maryland Gazettes
By Andrew Metcalf and Aaron Kraut
The Washington Post Company sent the following email to employees of the Gazette newspapers in Maryland, after the company announced that the weeklies would be closing. The Gazette papers are published by Post Community Media (PCM). The email comes from Dennis Wilston, the paper’s corporate advertising director, and Mike McIntyre, the corporate controller. The Montgomery Gazette will publish its last issue on June 18.
To All PCM Employees:
We are writing today to let you know about changes coming to properties under the PCM umbrella. We will be following up with each team in the coming days to provide more specific information and answer questions.
We are pleased to share that Adams Publishing Group (APG Media) will acquire the Southern Maryland Newspapers and Military publications, adding them to its family of publications around the Chesapeake area. APG Media of Chesapeake President David Fike called it a “homecoming of sorts,” as both the Southern Maryland Newspapers and APG Media had been part of Chesapeake Publishing & Printing years ago, and he sees a lot of opportunities in bringing them back together.
We have made a sincere and earnest effort to keep our two free community newspapers financially viable. However, as we have seen across the country with suburban papers that border markets with strong major metro papers, even extensive expense reductions and the development of new products are not enough to offset declining advertising revenue for individual papers. Understanding the challenges, we set out to find buyers for the Gazettes who could help them thrive alongside a group of similar publications.
As a result, Whip It Media will purchase The Fairfax County Times in Virginia. Richard Whippen, CEO of Whip It Media, has held the position of general manager for the Times, and knows the business well. As part of the same sale, he will also buy out PCM’s stake in the Suburban Press Network.
After a comprehensive but unsuccessful effort to find a buyer for The Maryland Gazettes, we are sorry to report that they will cease publishing effective June 18, 2015. The publications, through their employees, have made a positive contribution to the community over the years and this is truly a heartfelt loss for all of us.
The Comprint Printing business will remain under current ownership.
The company will be distributing a 60-day notice today to employees affected by these changes, along with information regarding severance and benefits.
We understand this is a lot of information to digest, and will have people on site to answer questions you may have.