Yes, the Slog has had its criticisms of The Seattle Times, but no one with any sort of heart takes pleasure in watching working journalists get downsized out the door. With that, another sad note to the Times newsroom, this one written yesterday by Executive Editor David Boardman and leaked to me by an employee of the paper:
I had hoped never to have to write another of these notes, but the winds of our beleaguered industry have returned us to this sad place. And while we have known for weeks that a major staff reduction was coming - and shared that with all of you in no uncertain terms - it didn't make it any easier today to tell a dozen of our newsroom colleagues that they could no longer work here.
On a positive note, that number was less than I had expected. We received 19 Expressions of Interest to leave voluntarily, and accepted them all. Because many of them were from long-time staffers paid higher than the mean, we were able to limit the total reduction to 31 from the 35-45 we had projected. (Additionally, we are eliminating seven open positions and project cutting another 20 through attrition.)
That said, these 31 people will leave behind a profound legacy - and an enormous hole. Each and every one has been a dedicated Times employee, and all are gifted journalists who have helped make this the outstanding newspaper it is.
Those who are leaving voluntarily are:
Val Campbell Bill Dietrich Kim Eckart Stuart Eskenazi Sheila Farr Michele Matassa Flores Pat Foote Cathy Henkel Angela Lo Patrick MacDonald Rod Mar Colleen McBrinn Megan Meidinger Elizabeth Rhodes Craig Smith Terry Tazioli Heather Trimm Peyton Whitely Cindy Zetts
I will not list the people being laid off at this time, out of respect for their privacy. Most of them, and those departing voluntarily, will be working through mid-December, with a few staying on longer. We will find an appropriate way to honor them all before then.
Thanks to all of you for helping keep this difficult and painful process as civil and respectful as it can be. As always, I feel privileged to be your editor, and your colleague.