Greg Griffin is among the stronger staffers in the Denver Post's business department. His work is consistently smart and incisive -- and according to this press release, it'll be missing from the paper for a year. Griffin was one of ten candidates from across the country to be named Knight-Bagehot Fellows in economics and business journalism by Columbia University's graduate school of journalism. The award includes "full tuition and a living stipend of $50,000 for experienced journalists to take graduate courses at Columbia's schools of business, law, and international and public affairs." That's a deal even Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School character could appreciate.
No doubt the folks at the Post will miss Griffin's contributions. But from a dollars-and-cents perspective (the kind business reporters understand well), his impending departure couldn't have come at a better time...
Why? Because the financial situation at the Post is extremely tight. In April 2006, the paper offered a buyout deal to employees with the aim of shrinking the editorial department by 25. Only thirteen people took the deal, so managers tried to achieve their goal via attrition -- and they succeeded. According to Post editor Greg Moore, the Post staff is forty employees smaller than it was approximately a year ago. Yet more cuts are on the way. On April 23, the paper presented another, sweeter buyout package intended to rid the operation of another 37 individuals.
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The May 3 edition of The Message will feature much more information on this topic. In the meantime, Griffin's impending departure means the business department will temporarily be without one of its signature voices -- yet the broadsheet will save a few bucks. The average reader's loss is the bean-counter's gain. -- Michael Roberts