According to jimromenesko.com, the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild – in the middle of “extremely difficult” bargaining talks – plans to give Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan a petition with 450 signatures “demanding a fair contract.”  These actions come as the Guild is in the middle of bargaining talks with The Washington Post.  “Since the talks between the Post and the Guild began last fall, the company has sought to freeze the pension, cut severance pay, cut health care insurance for part-timers (an expense to the company of about $35,000 a year for the small number of employees affected) and offer a pay increase so small it won’t keep up with inflation”, stated the jimromenesko.com report.

Politico is looking to double the number of journalists it employs to about 500 over the next four years, as it eyes further global expansion after launching in Europe, reported The Guardian. Politico chief executive Jim VandeHei said the company is aiming to triple revenues through expansion into U.S. state politics, its new European operation and moving into new territories such as Asia and South America. “We talk about [tripling] in terms of revenue for the company, but there is a direct correlation with between revenue and personnel,” said VandeHei. “If we are going to realise our ambitions we need a lot more reporters and a lot more people on the business side,” stated The Guardian’s report.

Bethesda Magazine purchased three-year-old Bethesda Now online news site for an undisclosed amount, allowing the magazine to expand its footprint in lower Montgomery County, reports The Washington Post. According to the Post piece, when the deal closes May 6, the magazine will merge Bethesda Now into its year-old online daily news site known as Bethesda Beat. As part of the acquisition, Bethesda Now will cease operation and its editor Aaron Kraut will join the staff of the new owner. “By acquiring Bethesda Now and folding it into Bethesda Beat, we are going to be able to cover more things and cover more things in greater depth,” said Bethesda Magazine founder Steve Hull. Hull said the number of daily Web posts will increase from about five currently to eight per day.

Northern Virginia Media Services has been awarded Department of Defense contracts to publish two local military base newspapers, the Belvoir Eagle and the Quantico Sentry. Coupled with the addition of the Stafford County Sun, the company’s community newspapers now reach nearly 200,000 households every week across Northern Virginia. The Belvoir Eagle serves the Fort Belvoir Army installation in southeastern Fairfax County and is distributed free every week to homes on the installation, as well as to most office buildings and public locations, and is online.  Likewise, the Quantico Sentry is distributed free to homes and offices on Marine Corps Base Quantico, in southeastern Prince William County, and is online. Under terms of the contracts, Northern Virginia Media Services provides editorial support, sells advertising, and prints and delivers the base newspapers.  Content is generated under the auspices of the respective public affairs offices.

 

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