Statesman cuts newsroom staff
Published: August 16,2011
Tags: Idaho Statesman
The Idaho Statesman has laid off nine employees, including seven reporters and other newsroom staff members, journalists at the paper said.
The staff was called to a meeting in the newsroom at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 by Vicki Gowler, the paper’s editor and vice president.
“It was, basically, ‘We thought we were in better shape than we are,’” said one reporter who attended the meeting and was not laid off. Sources for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Among those who lost their jobs, sources said, were reporters Joe Estrella and Anna Webb, senior designer Tim Jones, online production editor Sara Cassinelli and copy editors Randall Post and Joi Topete.
Sources said a part-time copy editor, an information-technology employee and a production staff member also were laid off.
Another newsroom employee who edited magazines for the paper will be reduced to part-time, a photographer will assume some design responsibilities and the associate editorial page editor will take on some reporting duties, sources said. An open sports reporter/editor spot will not be filled, and newsroom employees will be required to take a one-week furlough by year’s end, meeting attendees said.
Employees who lost their jobs were invited to remain at work for the next two weeks, sources said.
Earlier rounds of cuts at the paper – two in 2008 and one in 2009 – reduced staff sizes in other departments. The McClatchy Company owns the Idaho Statesman.
The newsroom employs about 50 reporters, photographers, copy editors and support staff members.
A reporter who was not let go said, “We’re down about 40 percent across the building.”
Calls seeking comments from Gowler and from Risa McGrew, the paper’s human resources director, were not returned. A call to Mike Jung, who will start as the Statesman’s president and publisher Aug. 22, was not returned. Jung is publisher of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.