Of late, the Denver Post has been making news in addition to covering it thanks to significant layoffs at parent company Digital First Media, damaging revelations from an ex-DFM staffer and continuing rumors that the Post is on the block.
The Post recently laid off two employees, too -- and now comes word that three major staffers made the decision to leave in quick succession. We asked Post editor Greg Moore to discuss the latest changes and the future of the paper. Here's what he told us.
The folks moving on include one person with close ties to this publication: former Westword restaurant critic Kyle Wagner. She joined the Post staff in 2002, where she served as a critic and food editor before moving on to take over as the travel and fitness editor. She plans to work as a freelance writer.
Kris Browning-Blas had been the Post's food editor, but she's splitting from the broadsheet in order to assume a communication position at Colorado State University, her alma mater. And Kurtis Lee, one of the publication's brightest and most energetic young reporters, announced via Twitter that he'll be signing on with the Los Angeles Times next month.
How's Moore, who's always been accessible and forthright whether the news was good or bad, feel about the latest developments? We asked via e-mail. Here's the exchange.
Westword: Is the Post hiring to fill these positions? Or will responsibilities be shifted so that current personnel will complete the duties, allowing the positions to be eliminated?
Greg Moore: We are filling the positions.
Do you see any connection between the departures?
Is the proximity of the timing a coincidence?
Total coincidence. I don't see how it could be anything else.
Do you have any fear about a loss of institutional knowledge as a result of departures like these?
Not really. Kurtis, for example, had only been here for three years and it was his first job. Everyone will be missed. But remember, they had their first day on the job here, too.
Does the infusion of new employees bring benefits of its own?
Institutions must renew themselves to stay vital. I think I said this before, but it is the natural order of things.
Have you heard concerns from staffers about the future of the Post, given the widely reported issues with Digital First Media and continuing rumors that the paper may be for sale?
Sure, I have heard people express concerns about what the future of The Post and DFM might be. That is not unusual. I am sure the same thing is happening at The Tribune newspapers and my friends in Boston went through the same thing. But I have heard nothing to make me think a sale is imminent. We just keep doing our work, which we would do regardless.
Is there a perception that people should get out while the getting's good -- and if so, is that perception inaccurate?
I know nothing about that kind of speculation. Last time I checked, everybody was getting paid and on time and doing work they love and that they are proud of.
Can people still hope to spend their entire career at the Denver Post?
I don't know that that was ever a dream people held dear.
Have those times changed?
I read something recently that said people in the future should expect to work for four or five companies in a lifetime and do two or three completely different things work wise. This is the fourth place I have worked.
Do you continue to be optimistic about the Post's future?
Yes, I would say so.
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What fuels that optimism?
C'mon, Michael. It's my nature.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.