"We hope to get under the sheets, look at each other more closely, exchange information more freely and figure out what areas we can be more effective in working closely together and what areas should remain separate," Weymouth said.
The announcement came at the annual state of The Post meeting, which also produced other news: In March, the company will offer an undetermined number of early-retirement packages, or buyouts, to Post newsroom staffers and other employees. Also, the company will close its College Park printing plant over the next two years, moving two of the four multi-story Mitsubishi presses to its larger Springfield plant, which will handle the paper's entire press run with six presses.
The Post offered buyouts in 2003 and 2006, which culled about 120 employees. Buyouts are designed to reduce payroll by offering exit packages to older employees, who tend to have higher salaries. The March buyout offer will be extended to union-covered and management employees, the company said. No details of the plan were released yesterday, but some general information may be available later in the month, the company said, with details to come in March.
Declining print circulation, as well as a number of other circumstances, has led to the closure of the College Park printing site, which opened in 1999. The Post spent $250 million on new presses for its two suburban sites. Post daily circulation peaked at 832,232 in 1993; it now sells an average of 638,000 papers Monday through Saturday. The Post has not decided what it will do with the College Park plant, nor has it determined the status of the plant's approximately 250 full- and part-time employees.
As publisher, Weymouth succeeds Boisfeuillet Jones Jr., 61, who has had the position since 2000. He will become vice chairman of The Post Co., working with Graham on company-wide issues. In addition to the newspaper, The Post Co. owns the Kaplan education company, Cable One cable company, six television stations and several other publications, including Newsweek, Express and Slate.