Sunday, September 18, 2005

Goodbye Chronicle Reporters

There’s a long list of distinguished Chronicle reporters who have taken management’s buyout. Those who will be definitely departing include the names of many familiar columnists. So far I’ve heard these people are leaving:

David Bush
Dwight Chapin

Glenn Dickey
Maria Gaura
Ken Garcia
Alan Gathright
Erin Hallissey
Don Lattin
Ira Miller

Alex Barnum and Kelly St. John have also left, but not through the buy out.

Many reporters apparently thought they could apply for the buy-out and then change their minds. This hasn’t been the case and some reporters were told to leave by last Friday. Management has accepted 85 voluntary buyouts, but may be looking to thin ranks by 120 positions. This may mean layoffs. The rancor is growing, according to this article.

Here's what one Chronicle reporter has to say:

"It's a very sad time in the newsroom, as a lot of our colleagues are taking buyouts and leaving. What's making it worse is that a lot of them thought they'd have some extra time to make the decision, but management is telling them they have to leave right away. So some departures feel extra hasty, and some people are feeling a fair degree of bitterness as they're shown the door.

The Chronicle used to have a fairly paternalistic feel to it, and there were a lot of people who hung around there for years. Some - foremost among them those in current management/ownership - have long felt this was a weakness at the paper. Maybe it even has something to do with all the money we've lost. Maybe it needed to change. But now it feels like we're in the hands of just another corporation that cares only about its bottom line, and not a whit about the people who help it reach that number or produce its journalism. (Newsroom managers care, of course, but don't seem to have much clout at the moment.)

And as we see decades of newspaper experience and institutional memory walking out the door, I think all we can feel is sadness."


Michelle Richmond said...

Hey, this is kinda sad. Thanks for reporting on it. Also, thanks so much for linking to my new & improved blog.

ed said...

Well, if there's any bright side to this, we'll have no more of Ken Garcia's columns laden with mixed metaphors and specious logic. Still, this is an unfortunate development.