Washington Post considers selling downtown properties

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder,News Alert,The Washington Post

The Washington Post is considering a move from its 15th Street headquarters and other properties in downtown D.C., the newspaper said Friday.

Katharine Weymouth, the Post's publisher, told employees the company was hoping to use "a more modern, bright, open and efficient building that better supports and advances our mission into the future."

Weymouth said the company had retained two real estate firms to advise them on a potential transaction involving their properties at 1150 15th St., 1515 L St. and 1523 L St.

The 15th Street property is the newspaper's flagship, and the company recently added a news ticker to its facade.

The company did not immediately offer a timeline for any potential sale, but Weymouth's message said company officials were in an "early stage" of discussions and that the process would unfold in the "coming months." The news came as the Post has struggled, like many newspapers, with it falling circulation and declining advertising revenues.

The sprawling Washington Post Co. reported flat revenues in the third quarter of last year, the most recent period for which data is available, but it recorded a profit that was largely generated by its television stations.

Its newspaper division's revenue, however, dipped 4 percent from the same span in 2011 and posted a $22 million loss.

The Post is not the only newspaper that has recently disclosed it's considering a sale of its headquarters: Last week, major daily newspapers in Alabama and Michigan announced they were exploring sales.

The Post moved into the building in 1950, and although it printed its newspapers there for decades, it has since moved its presses to the suburbs.

In her email, Weymouth acknowledged the headquarters' significance to the modern Post.

"This building has given us so much and has watched history unfold," she said. "It is hard to imagine us moving after so many years... We understand that this is a big undertaking and a change for all of us. We take all of this seriously."

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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Alan Blinder

Staff Reporter, D.C. City Hall
The Washington Examiner