Arizona Republic Layoffs Include Veteran Journos, Former East Valley Tribune Refugees

The bloodbath at Gannett Company Inc., over the past 48 hours saw as many as 223 jobs lost, with 29 people reportedly laid off at the Arizona Republic.

Some of those on the list were veteran journalists, including two who had worked for the paper for decades. Another two were refugees from the failed former East Valley Tribune (not to be confused with the namby-pamby local paper of the same name, now owned by a subsidiary of Colorado's Thirteenth Street Media.)

See also: - Arizona Republic Lays Off 30 to 40, Announces Closure of Chandler Offset Plant

We hear that the following 12 people from the editorial side were cut:

Lori Baker, print platform manager (and longtime reporter and editor)

Cecilia Chan, public safety and breaking news reporter

Julie Dart, copy editor for features and business

Dawn DeChristina, online producer

Dale Hajek, print platform manager

Amy Hartman, designer/artist

Cindy Hernandez, online producer

Kerry Fehr-Snyder, reporter

Stephanie Russo, content coordinator

John Triplett, content partnership editor

Mike Tulumello, Southeast Valley opinions editor

John Yantis, reporter

Please let us know if any of these names should not be here. We confirmed each name with at least two sources, but haven't verified them any from an official source at Gannett or the Repub.

Gannett Blog, where news of the layoffs first broke, reports that the "stealth" layoffs at 37 different locations nationwide followed recent news of another big slip in ad sales. The restructuring includes "the elimination of open jobs and the unexpected retirement of several publishers and senior editors with relatively little advance notice."

Other Republic positions and people lost, we hear, include a La Voz editor, a Page One designer, and an archivist.

It wasn't just editorial affected -- at least nine advertising people lost their jobs, too, according to one comment on Gannett Blog. (Take the source for what is, naturally.)

News like this is gut-wrenching for everyone in the journalism industry, which by many accounts can be likened to a half-dead mule in a dried-up waterhole. Some of the newly jobless are still stunned.

Nine of the 12 we listed are middle-aged. One of the 50-somethings we reached at home this morning declined comment, saying in a halting voice that "it's a difficult time."

The Phoenix Business Journal's Mike Sunnucks talked to Lori Baker yesterday, who started with the company when she was just 14 and worked there for 35 years.

"I've never applied for a job before," she told the Journal.

At least one victim, Mike Tulumello, has been through the industry's downsizing wringer before. A talented sportswriter, Tulumello was part of the massive gutting of the old Tribune in late 2008, as its then-owner, Freedom Communications, wended its way through a bankruptcy.

Another former Tribber, John Yantis, survived another round of Tribune layoffs in March of 2010 after the paper was taken over by the new owner. He took a job as a reporter two months later at the Republic, which he -- like everyone else -- knew was also being rocked by regular waves of layoffs and mandatory unpaid furloughs.

Best of luck to all the laid-off. We have no doubt they'll land on their feet -- but with the industry still sinking, their drop zone probably won't be made of newsprint.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.