The Baltimore Examiner is folding. What does this mean for the Washington Examiner? In a staff memo, Clarity Media CEO Ryan McKibben details his vision going forward:

    In the case of the Washington Examiner, you have proven the success of our unique model. You have developed a strong newspaper organization with credible reporting, presented in tight readable articles, while maintaining a sharp focus on local news, consistently scooping your newspaper competition. The recent shift of home delivery to two days a week while expanding single-copy circulation has also been successful. We’ve become more efficient while growing advertising revenue.

    Beyond proving the success of our model, the Washington Examiner has gone further, to become a strong and credible chronicler of national politics and public policy. Your balanced and professional reporting of events in our nation’s capital, together with a growing and robust opinion section, has resulted in a scrappy, aggressive newspaper that is gaining attention and respect.

    New Investments in the Washington Examiner

    This has given us the confidence to make new, major investments in the Washington Examiner. We are increasing our “news hole” to accommodate these improvements:

    * An expanded “Commentary” section with additional op–ed contributors with strong and original voices …
    * A daily page devoted to “Politics”…
    * A weekly page on “national security” — and the addition of two contributing columnists who will write about defense issues …
    * A weekly page on K Street that will examine lobbying and the role of special interests …
    * The addition of talented columnists and contributors — including two new columnists who will each write twice a week for the Politics page and a lobbying columnist/reporter who will write a column for the new K Street page …
    * We’ve hired acclaimed columnist Timothy P. Carney to produce a weekly op-ed column …
    * The strengthening the Examiner’s investigative journalism by adding two investigative writers who will delve into issues of national importance for our Opinion pages …
    * Finally, we’ve invested in the future of the Washington Examiner by making substantial upgrades to its website — including a new design and vastly improved functionality that will be launched at the end of March 2009.
    * To ensure the growth and success of dcexaminer.com we have hired three new web editors, including an online managing editor, Matthew Sheffield, founder of newsbuster.com.

    Today, we are saddened by the harsh reality that the financial synergies we had hoped would develop relative to the Baltimore Examiner did not materialize. At the same time, we are encouraged that the basic model underpinning the Washington Examiner and San Francisco Examiner has been successful. And in the case of the Washington Examiner, your hard work is evolving the newspaper into a highly regarded, alternative national editorial voice in our nation’s capital.

    We very much appreciate the job that you do … and we look forward for many more good things to come from the Washington Examiner.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan McKibben

    President & CEO