WASHINGTON, DC: The US capital’s paper of record, the Washington Post, has completed a second consecutive year of profitability, and plans for expansion in 2019, according to an internal memo to staff.
The message, circulated by publisher Fred Ryan to the Post’s nearly 800 journalists, said the paper is exploring the acquisition of additional space in its headquarters building to “accommodate anticipated growth in the future,” Axios reported.
Since January, Ryan wrote, subscriber numbers have more than doubled; since last year, subscriptions have more than tripled.
One of the most surprising segments of Ryan’s memo was his mention of digital advertising, which has been a poor performer for most publishers, as Facebook and Google swallow up advertising dollars. For the Post, however, it has “contributed a far greater share of overall revenue than ever.”
In addition, the tech focus of the paper that many saw as the result of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ acquisition of the company, has, sold its Arc platform to a number of others. “In addition to WashingtonPost.com, Arc now provides technology for more than 50 other websites,” Ryan wrote.
In comparison, the New York Times, which has a much larger staff and HQ, earlier last month announced that it would be vacating “at least eight floors” of its Eighth Avenue headquarters in a cost-cutting move, according to Politico.
Shortly after Bezos acquired the Post, his 2014 appointment of Fred Ryan as publisher was widely read as a canny move following Ryan’s experience with the digital news organisation Politico. In a previous life, Fred Ryan worked as an official in the Reagan government in the 1980s.
Much of Ryan’s time at the paper has been focused on shifting the publication away from its paper products and toward a more compelling digital offer, extensive parts of which are now bearing fruit.
Sourced from Axios, Politico, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff