Departures Continue at the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post

Once upon time, journalists were fighting to get a foot in the door at the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. Today, plenty of editorial types aren't letting said door hit them on the way out.

Among the departures in the past month or so: Julia C. Martinez at the Post, plus two reporters at the Rocky, Ivan Moreno and Fernando Quintero, as well as assistant city editor Sarah Huntley. In addition, one of the Rocky's most veteran section editors -- Barry Forbis, who oversees the tabloid's consistently strong sports offerings -- recently sent a memo to staffers letting them know he, too, may be departing soon.

Martinez let readers know that she was evacuating in a January 7 column. Under the heading "A Fond Farewell," she wrote, "After 10 years of covering state and city politics for the Denver Post, I am moving on. Thanks to all of you who have read this column, taken time to comment -- good or bad -- and helped fuel the pipeline. In my new, non-journalistic life, I hope to have a more direct, and positive, impact on the lives of ordinary Coloradoans." Part of that "non-journalistic life" apparently includes not getting back to scribblers like yours truly. A message I left seeking information about her rationale for splitting and her future plans has thus far gone unreturned.

Meanwhile, at the Rocky, a trio of memos that hit in-boxes shortly before Christmas provide info on Moreno, Quintero and Huntley.

Here's the Moreno item, from the pen of managing editor Deb Goeken:

Everyone: I am proud to announce that Ivan Moreno, an Academy member here at the Rocky for nearly two years, has been hired by the Associated Press. Ivan will be helping AP cover the legislature this session. Ivan has grown immensely in his time at the Rocky, starting as in intern and then moving into the Academy. He has been a general assignment reporter, he's covered cops, and he has worked a suburban beat, scoring some good scoops. Most recently, he was a valuable team member on the church shootings stories. We will miss Ivan, and we wish him all the success in the world.

This is the farewell to Quintero:

Reporter Fernando Quintero is leaving at the end of this year for the Orlando Sentinel. Fernando has a special way about him, an ability to get people to tell him things they wouldn't tell anyone else. He made an immediate impact on his arrival at the Rocky, and his continued to do excellent work. I remember the interview he got with one of the girls victimized by the Bailey school killer. It was fascinating and dramatic - and only Fernando could have talked her into it, I'm convinced. In Fernando, I see an abiding love of journalism and daily newspapers, and that's a good lesson for all of us.

Also from December, the goodbye to Huntley:

Everyone: I want to let you know that assistant city editor Sarah Huntley has taken a job with the Boulder Police Department, and will be leaving the Rocky in January. Sarah is a talented and passionate journalist, and an articulate advocate for the important role journalism plays in our society.She was an exceptional cops reporter. I particularly remember her work on all kinds of big breaking news, including the Brent Brents murder rampage and the CU scandal, as well as the domestic violence series. And when she moved to the desk, she quickly showed her strengths in organizing and managing and news judgment. She led a project on juvenile criminals with reporter Sue Lindsay and others that was smart and well-written. It garnered many awards, including some important ones in law enforcement circles. On top of all that, Sarah has been a wonderful colleague and friend.

More recently, on January 10, sports editor Forbis shipped off the following memo to his crew. As he emphasizes, his exit is possible but far from a done deal:

Staff:

Depending on how good your national sources are, you might have or soon will hear that I have interviewed for the assistant managing editor/sports position at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. For me, the P-D is a little like the Rocky was for Tracy [Ringolsby] in 1992 -- a chance to go back home (or near home) and play a major role in improving a section.

That's not to say I will go -- don't start cheering yet -- it's only to say that's why there would be some interest on my part. I thought I could keep it quiet until I had a chance to actually make a decision, but it doesn't appear that is true. That's why I'm giving you a heads-up now. If you have questions, call or email me. Again, this doesn't mean I'm leaving. Chances probably are better that I'm staying. I just don't want you to hear of the possibility from someone else.

I should have a better idea where everything stands in the next couple of weeks.

Barry

Will the last person to leave the Denver dailies please turn off the press? -- Michael Roberts

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