Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gazette reportedly lays off newsroom employees

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 12:19 PM

click to enlarge gazette.jpg
Here's a sobering statistic: Between 2005 and 2015, the number of newspaper reporters and editors declined by 25,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

It's no secret that the local daily newspaper, the Gazette, has seen its share of layoffs, starting in 2007 when about 40 people, many from the newsroom, were sent packing. Layoffs continued at regular intervals until 2012 when Clarity Media, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz bought the paper. (Anschutz also owns The Broadmoor.)

But now, word is spreading there's been a layoff in the newsroom of at least four journalists, several of whom were long-time Gazette employees, which likely means their pay was on the higher end of the scale.

Sources tell us that the layoff stemmed from a desire to improve the bottom line, a common strategy in any business.

Official details are hard to come by about the layoff. We've been told by sources that's because the separation agreements contain non-disclosure clauses, meaning if those who were laid-off discuss the terms, they'll have to forfeit whatever benefits they've being provided — which also is typical for many businesses and even government agencies.

We asked the daily's editor Vince Bzdek and publisher Dan Steever to comment on the layoffs. Bzdek deferred to Steever, who writes in an email:
The Gazette does not comment on specific internal HR issues. However
we are fortunate, and unique, in that as a daily newspaper our
newsroom staff remains larger today than it was in November 2012 just
prior to the paper being purchased by Clarity Media. Our ability to
grow core news reporting staff in part is what enabled us to garner 54
awards this week from the CPA and AP including top awards in key
reporting categories, and a Best In Show award.
Steever was referring to the Colorado Press Association and Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters contests, the results of which were announced last weekend.

More from the rumor mill: Longtime photographer Mark Reis, who is retiring soon, won't be replaced. There's also been a lot of gab about the possible reassignment of Billie Stanton Anleu from covering City Hall as a reporter to editing feature and news copy. Steever didn't address either of those issues either.

Anschutz isn't the only billionaire in the newspaper business. Read this story and this one and this one and this one about why the uber rich are drawn to invest in newspapers.

(Disclosure: I worked for the Gazette for 16 years and left on my own accord in August 2009 to accept my current position with the Independent.)

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