Several Arizona Republic editorial staff members failed to land a job after being forced to reapply for a position at the state's largest newspaper.
Veteran journalists were among those who did not make the cut when the dust settled.
The layoffs follow news in August that the paper's parent company, Gannett, was splitting into two companies next year -- one company to hold its downward-spiraling newspapers and another to contain its money-making operations like TV stations and non-journalistic websites.
"Lots of good people left," reporter Michael Clancy wrote on Facebook today, acknowledging he had just lost his job. "Some not so great held on. A few good people gone."
Former Republic writer Hayley Ringle reported in the Phoenix Business Journal today (apparently through her own sourcing, as Gannett Corporation didn't put out a news release with this info) that the layoffs following the reapplication process included at least six people from the newsroom, with five others taking buyouts and some employees receiving a 25 percent pay cut. The affected employees included reporters, editors and photographers.
Other reporters and possibly at least one editor, New Times hears, have been assigned new positions. Reportedly, the goal was to cut about 15 percent of employees from the news operation. Arizona Regent and blogger Greg Patterson reported on Monday that Jennifer Dokes didn't reapply for her job -- we're not sure what happened to her. Journalists at other Gannett papers also had to go through the humiliating process of reapplying for jobs -- and when one Burlington Free Press reporter refused, she was shown the door.
Here are the names of some of the casualties, (confirmed through sources, not the Republic's HR department, so please contact us ASAP if we've made an error):
* Michael Clancy, who was penning stories for the paper at least as far back as 1994.
* Lisa DeForest, who held various editor positions since 2003.
* Philip Haldiman, reporter and star of the 2003 cult movie The Room.
* Lesley Wright, reporter since 2001.
* Charlie Leight, a photographer who's been at the paper since 1991.
*(UPDATE : Sylvia Cody, copy editor)
Readers may notice the cuts, but they're they're probably still overwhelmed from the "expanded coverage" and "improved navigation" they're getting after landmark changes were made to the print edition back in March. As part of the "Butterfly" initiative, the Republic and other regional Gannett papers now publish large helpings of the classic McPaper, USA Today.
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UPDATE: Friday, October 31: Hayley Ringle updates her article to include comments from Philip Halidman. Here's a sample: "Ultimately the fallout is that government checks and balances will reside more and more in the hands of the public. And what that means, only the future will tell."
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.