As noted in this blog and elsewhere, plenty of Rocky Mountain News editorial siders are jumping ship in search of a vessel that doesn't seem to be taking on water. But while the departees whose names regularly appeared in Rocky bylines have gotten the most attention, numerous key support staffers have split, too. An example is Jessica Slater, who's served as an interactive editor for the paper, and has had a hand in many of its most significant and effective online projects. Several of those she leaves behind call Slater's decision to leave in favor of a new gig at Indigio Group, Inc., a locally based interactive agency, an enormous loss to the tabloid.
Here's managing editor Deb Goeken's November 30 memo bidding Slater a fond farewell:
If you haven't heard, today is Jessica Slater's last day. Jessica, one of the world's smart and great people, is joining online services company Indigio as a project manager. Jessica has been with the Rocky since 1999, during which time she has answered thousands of questions ranging from "What's a mouse?" to "Where did my story go?"
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Jessica oversaw the installation of Unisys and SCC. She has also been the go-to person for improving these systems and making sure they operate correctly day and night. Since she joined Interactive Media, Jessica has helped coordinate two redesigns of RockyMountainNews.com, two redesigns of the print edition. Most recently, she helped with the design and implementation of the Rock budgeting system. In addition to all of this, she also wrote several book reviews for the Rocky.
She'll be close by if you want to keep in touch. Indigio's offices are just a couple of blocks away at the corner of Tremont and 17th Street. Join me in wishing her well.
Slater isn't the first interactive pro to say goodbye to the Rocky this year; multimedia producer Tim Skillern decamped earlier in 2007 in favor of Associated Content, a burgeoning website profiled here. Unsurprisingly, folks like them are in great demand these days. Their skills translate directly to lots of different Internet enterprises, many of which offer extremely competitive salaries and a lower stress level than a daily newspaper.
Still, their decision to take the offers remains a sign of the times. The Rocky may find it difficult to attract top IT people in the future if prospective employees see the likes of Associated Content and Indigio Group as having better long-term prospects. -- Michael Roberts