In a blog last Thursday, I reported that the Fort Collins Coloradoan was advertising for a new photojournalist mere days after having laid off nine people. Moreover, the Gannett-owned paper's item about the latest downsizing move pointed out that the current staff is roughly half the size it was in early 2007.
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In a subsequent e-mail, Bob Moore, the Coloradoan's editor, clarifies this last figure. While he emphasizes that "a job loss is a job loss and it's incredibly traumatic to the people involved," he notes that the majority of the cuts have come in departments other than editorial. "When I got here in 2005, I had about 35 newsroom employees," he writes, "Today I have about 30. That's because I've been blessed to work with two publishers who feel that local content is the key to a healthy economic future for the Coloradoan. Less than 5 percent of the reduction in workforce at the Coloradoan over recent years has been in news positions."
Moore suspects that the relatively small number of newsroom losses is "an exception in the industry," and he's right. Still, it helps explain why the Coloradoan continues to do often-impressive work -- like spearheading a court action when it appeared that Colorado State University had violated open-meetings laws in the way it appointed Joe Blake the sole finalist for the institution's chancellor position. The Coloradoan's resources may be diminished, but the paper continues to get as much out of them as possible.