The Washington Post Co. (NYSE:WPO) replaced holiday cheer with end-of-year gloom for several of its U.S. bureaus on the eve of Thanksgiving last week. The Associated Press reports that the Post will shutter its remaining American bureaus -- in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles -- by the end of the year, offering six reporters jobs back in Washington and laying off the bureaus' news aides.

According to the AP: "In a staff memo Tuesday, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli told workers that the paper needed to concentrate its "journalistic firepower" on its central mission of covering Washington, D.C."

This is surely the latest sign of the times for newspapers, when even flagship national publications feel the need to circle the wagons at home. Can newspapers be saved by doubling down on local news? Is there a future left for the Post and its competitors, such as The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT), McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), and Gannett (NYSE:GCI)? Where do they go from here? Offer up your suggestions via the comments box below.

Hope Nelson-Pope is online coordinating editor at The Motley Fool and was a newsroom rat in her past life. She owns none of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.