Will the last person to leave the Denver Post please lock the door behind them? This question is justified by the recent exodus of staffers from the broadsheet -- and while many of the exits have been forced by management decisions, quite a few others have been entirely voluntary, including the announced departure of Jeff Taylor, the assistant managing editor for enterprise and business.
When a series of buyouts and layoffs were finalized at the Post (see this June 20 blog and the June 21 Message column to learn more), insiders hoped tension that had been rising for months would finally begin to ease. Instead, more workers decided to leave voluntarily -- that part of the story is recapped in item two of the July 12 Message -- and others girded for a massive newsroom reorganization. Editor Greg Moore announced the nuts and bolts of this shuffle in a July 10 memo accessible here, and the text of the note declares that Taylor will be the leader of the new investigative team -- presumably one of the highest profile groups at the Post. But just two days later, Moore let his minions know that Taylor would be splitting in order to serve as San Francisco bureau chief and enterprise editor for Bloomberg News.
This turn of events represents a gut shot in more ways than one. Taylor was one of the best-liked and most respected members of Post management, and his absence may well have a qualitative impact on the paper in the short run, and probably longer. Moreover, his decision can't help but worsen the remaining crew's morale, which has been sinking lower with each passing day. If a person like Taylor is getting out, the average reporter may ask himself, why the hell am I sticking around?
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The tough times at the Post just got a little tougher. -- Michael Roberts