A Romenesko reader writes: “The Big 4 wires – AP, Bloomberg, DJ, Reuters – are giving up staffing the Treasury press room, as of late last week. They complain there’s no news and no access, so they’re taking their ball and going home.”
Here’s the memo from Bloomberg’s Chris Wellisz:
From: Chris Wellisz [BLOOMBERG/NEWSROOM]
To: [numerous addresses]
At: June 5 2014 12:43:13
Folks, the news you have all been waiting for. We no longer need to staff the Treasury press room, effective immediately. Almost all press releases will be distributed by email.
** The exceptions: TICS, monthly budget statement, semiannual FX report, the budget green book, quarterly refunding, and FSOC annual report. We will send folks over to cover those releases as needed.
* press room stays open, and we keep our equipment.
* Treasury will continue to do their weekly off record briefing. They will also make officials available from time to time and give us advance notice.
Free at last!
Former Wall Street Journal reporter David Wessel, who spent time in the Treasury press room in the late 1980s, writes in an email: “I do remember the Fed faxing over press releases and Marty Crutsinger of the AP ringing a bell (like the one on a Navy ship) when we could push the ‘send’ button.”
Update: AP spokesman Paul Colford writes — “‘Abandon’ is inaccurate. For AP, this is purely a technical move. We are keeping our equipment at Treasury and, of course, we continue to report on the department. We will get vital information just as fast and we will still report on major events from our workstation inside the Treasury press room. However, we are confident that we don’t need to be rooted to a desk in the Treasury press room all day, every day.”