At the end of December, the Washington Post will close its bureaus in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. This is the biggest write-off of on-the-scene domestic news coverage by any major paper yet.

The Washington City Paper broke the story, and has the full internal memo on the bureau closures. Key graf:

At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure, it's necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the country's politics, policies and government.

Total economic move. The Post is smart to protect its core competency, but this is pretty...sudden. But they may look smart for it, eventually, by not sucking themselves dry covering shit WaPo readers can get elsewhere, better, if they actually want it at all. The NYT, meanwhile, recently expanded its coverage in San Francisco and Chicago, so we have a nice little dichotomy to see which strategy looks smarter a couple years from now.