Washington Post plans to grow newsroom to record size (1,000+ journalists) in 2021 after hitting digital ad and subscription peaks

The Washington Post plans to have a larger newsroom in 2021 than at any point in its history after recently setting digital subscription and online advertising records.

In a memo sent to staff on Thursday, publisher Fred Ryan revealed plans to take on 150 new employees in 2021 – “the most in a single year”.

“The newsroom, with more than 1,000 journalists, will be the largest in the history of The Washington Post,” he said in the note, seen by Press Gazette.

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Ryan confirmed that the Post now has close to 3m paying online readers – as reported in Press Gazette’s 100k Club league table of publishers ranked by digital-only subscribers – up almost 50% in the year.

He also revealed that, following a market-wide collapse of the advertising market in March, the last three months of 2020 “have brought the highest digital advertising revenue in Post history”.

Read more: The 100k Club: Most popular subscription news websites in the world revealed

“This superb performance by our revenue-generating teams validates our view that there is a successful business model for quality journalism,” he said. “I am pleased to report that The Washington Post will finish 2020, as it has for the past five years, as a profitable and growing company.”

Ryan added: “Looking to 2021, we have many reasons to be hopeful. With vaccines in the early stages of distribution, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yet we must first make it through the darkest and roughest stretches to get there. As our readers look to us to keep them informed about the path back to normalcy, we must remain as diligent as ever.”

Picture credit: Nicole Glass Photography/ Shutterstock

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