Believe it or not, the Arizona Republic's going to get worse

By John Dickerson

It’s the worst kept secret in town that the Arizona Republic is a sad and sorry shell of its former self. (Revisit Sarah Fenske’s 2007 cover story on the topic if you’re not clear on the details.)

And it’s the second-worst kept secret in town that the state’s paper of record is apparently about to get worse.

Arizona Republic editorial writer Richard de Uriarte

For months, rumors have swirled that this spring would bring layoffs at the Gannettized daily. By the calendar, the ax has just another few days to fall. Not sure it’ll happen that quickly (and we hope it won’t) but the precursor came within the last few weeks, reportedly, in the form of buyout offers made to some longtime staff who qualify for AARP memberships. One of our favorite local blogs, espressopundit, caught wind of that.

Final announcements apparently still haven’t been made. Reportedly, the buyouts aren’t a great deal, but some are taking them. On the list, we’ve heard, is Richard de Uriarte, whose wit, intelligence and institutional knowledge is too good for that rag, anyhow, as far as we’re concerned. More than one person we’ve talked to cites him as the last reason to read the Republic. Reached at his desk at the Republic yesterday, de Uriarte said he’s not comfortable talking about the offers.

Others with exit offers, we’ve heard, include Joel Nilsson, (West Valley editorial page editor) Steve Yozwiak (Scottsdale Republic assistant city editor) and photographer Suzanne Starr. Arizona Republic Executive Editor Randy Lovely hasn’t returned a call seeking comment. But if you’ve got more information on the topic, e-mail me at [email protected] or call (602) 744-6549.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Dickerson
Contact: John Dickerson