Arlington, VA

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) It’s rare to find a news organization that’s actively hiring these days, let alone one that’s expanding physically. But that’s exactly what Allbritton Communications is seeking to do in Rosslyn.

Allbritton’s landlord has applied for a site plan amendment to convert space that was originally intended to be a television studio into work space for the web divisions of its WJLA-TV and Politico properties. The nearly 6,000 square foot space is a former retail bay in the interior mall of the 1000/1100 Wilson Boulevard office complex.

Citing the “evolution of the broadcast television industry into a web-based online media,” Allbritton will take what the board initially approved in July 2008 to be a new TV studio for WJLA and convert it into cubicles and offices for web employees. County staff is recommending the board approve the change at its Saturday, Dec. 11 meeting.

The renovations will help facilitate the on-going addition of nearly 100 employees for TBD, the web and cable division of WJLA, and Politico Pro, a new subscription service that’s being launched early next year, according Saul Carlin, Allbritton’s Director of Special Projects.

TBD currently has 24 web employees and approximately 12 cable employees. Politico Pro is expected to launch with a staff of 40. According to TBD Editor Erik Wemple, the web site is in the process of hiring three new employees — a news writer, a D.C. neighborhoods reporter, and a transit/transportation reporter.

That accounts for not quite 80 of the 100 stated new hires. Additional hirings at TBD are “possible,” Wemple said.

In the site plan filing, Allbritton said the new hires should boost the company’s Rosslyn workforce by about 25 percent, from 400 employees to 500 employees.

“If approved, the change would help us to keep our growing Arlington operations under one roof,” said Carlin. “In this difficult economy, we’re pleased that we can be an engine of job creation in Arlington County.”

“The proximity to the federal government creates opportunities for news organizations in the Washington, D.C. media market that might not be available to them elsewhere,” Carlin added.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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