Amid the carnage of newsroom cuts all over Colorado in recent months, one blogger’s response to Jim Spencer’s farewell column today carries an ominous message that best would be acknowledged by the suits upstairs: To wit: Carving writing talent out of newsrooms will not help sagging circulation and advertising one bit.
“I will no longer to subsribe to the Denver Post,” goes the note, which is signed ‘Cancel My Subscription.’ “Jim Spencer and Diane Carmen [sic] are THE main reason I read the paper. Why not keep a thoughtful journalist around and delete some of your ‘junk’ news? It is truly a sad day for Denver and all of Colorado. I’ll miss you Jim. As I know oodles of thousands of other ‘thinking’ Coloradoans will too.”
On top of Spencer, this week saw the departure of a multitude of longtime journalists from the Post, including Perspective Editor Todd Engdahl. Still others are also on their way out. In all, the Post plans 37 cuts, on top of 35 from last year.
In a June 11 memo obtained by Westword and reprinted by national media columnist Jim Romanesko, Post Editor Greg Moore talked about the painful cuts.
To the Staff:
As you have probably already heard, some very good journalists lost their jobs today. This is always difficult and today was no exception. We did involuntary separations for five exempt employees: Jim Spencer, Todd Engdahl, Regina Avila, Kay Jarvis and Carla Kimbrough-Robinson. All have contributed much to this paper and we will miss them. Their last day is Friday, June 15. These departures are on top of the 16 voluntary ones we announced Friday. In coming days, we will be reviewing remaining staffing, the budget and the newsroom reorganization. It is clear that we will be changing how we do business. Your patience is appreciated. More details to come.
The Rocky Mountain Newspurged its staff of 17 longtime journalists last month, and the Colorado Springs Gazette. went through a series of layoffs earlier this year.
Also this week, the Gannett-owned Coloradoan in Fort Collins announced that 10 jobs have been cut, including two in the newsroom. It is the second round of cuts in as many years, and leaves 215 employees at the newspaper.
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at email@example.com