The Denver Post has announced a new buyout offer intended to shrink its staff by 26 employees.
If this reduction is realized, the Post's newsroom will have lost more than a third of its workers in around a year.
As we reported in June 2015, there were approximately 165 newsroom members when the Post announced its previous buyout offer. By the end of that July, twenty people were gone — nineteen voluntarily, one via layoff.
The staff diminution has continued since then. The Denver Business Journal reports that there are about 130 people in the newsroom at present. Take 26 people away from that total and the Post's newsroom will barely be over the century mark.
That more cuts were coming wasn't exactly a secret.
Greg Moore at the 2009 news conference announcing the closure of the Rocky Mountain News.
Photo by J. Knight
In March, when Greg Moore resigned as editor of the Denver Post , he noted during a newsroom meeting that he'd recently looked at a staff photo snapped shortly after the Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Aurora theater shooting.
"I realized there are more than fifty people in that photo who aren't here anymore," he said.
Before long, Post employees were given the opportunity to ask questions, with one mentioning a rumor that the editor had been ordered to cut thirty additional newsroom jobs before this June.
Moore said this wasn't true, and that's proven to be the case — though the 26-person buyout target is certainly close.
Thus far, the most detailed account of the buyout offer comes via tweets from Post city hall reporter Jon Murray.
Here's the string:
At staff meeting, @DenverPost newsroom buyouts announced: seeking up to 26 total, including 23 in Guild-covered jobs.— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) April 28, 2016
If memory serves, this number (up to 26) is slightly higher than the number of buyouts sought in @DenverPost newsroom last summer.— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) April 28, 2016
Same as last year, buyout eligibility categories are 20 yrs+ of service, 10-19 yrs of service or age 55 yrs or older— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) April 28, 2016
Upshot: if buyout target of 26 is hit, then cut of @DenverPost newsroom staff would be roughly 19-20%.— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) April 28, 2016
Whereas Moore was extremely forthcoming about internal matters at the Post even when the news was bad, the folks in charge at present — publisher Mac Tully and interim editor Lee Ann Colacioppo — are currently keeping their counsel.
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Granted, there's not much to say. The Post remains for sale, as it's been since 2014, and the latest slashes can be interpreted as a valentine to potential bargain hunters — or simply an attempt to stanch the sea of red ink in which so many print properties are awash.