In our interview with the Denver Post's Tina Griego, whose decision to accept a severance package originally intended to reduce the copy-editing staff by two-thirds could lead to the paper being metro-columnist free until 2013, we noted that several other writers would also be leaving. We've now ID'd three, all veterans of the staff: Ann Schrader, Margaret Jackson and Felisa Cardona.
Ann Schrader, who's covered dozens of beats over her many years with the Post, and was part of the team that earned a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, confirmed via e-mail that "I am part of the workforce reduction" but declined to elaborate, writing, "There's really nothing to discuss."
Likewise, Jackson, a prominent and well-respected business reporter who came to the Post from the Fort Collins Coloradoan in 2005, responded to an interview request via e-mail. "I can confirm that I have been approved," she wrote; we're told management has reserved the right to veto non-copy editors who've applied for the severance package. Beyond that, Jackson reserves comment beyond noting, "We still don't know when our last day will be."
That leaves Cardona, who's written mainly about federal courts and law enforcement since joining the Post eight years ago, as the only member of the trio to detail her decision to accept the offer, which turned out to be well-timed.
"I've been trying to sell my condo for a year," she says. "And when I sold it, I saw it as an opportunity to maybe go back to Southern California, where my family is."
Indeed, her husband, a mechanic who went back to school to get a degree in psychology, has been looking for work in California for the past month or more and has several promising leads. Then, in the interim, "the announcement went out about the copy editors and the severance package," Cardona continues. "And since I'd also been discussing the possibility of going back to school and getting a master's degree, I thought I would try something new."
Not that Cardona has definitely decided to give up on reporting. "I've been thinking about studying criminology, because I've covered it for seventeen years," she says. "And I've also been thinking about communication, in case I want to go into PR. But if the right job comes along under the right circumstances and it's journalism, I'd jump at it. I'll be a journalist until the day I die, and if I do something different, I'm sure I'll miss it."
Cardona speaks glowingly about her time at the Post. "It's been a great, great eight years," she enthuses. "I work with the best journalists in the country, and everybody has been super-nice to me over the years, and really encouraging. I'm going to miss everybody -- especially the sources I've made over the years."
Likewise, she doesn't want to leave the impression that she sees the Post as a sinking ship.
"I want people to know that the Post is still a great newspaper, despite all the cuts going on," she says. "There are really great journalists who work here, and they work really hard every single day."
When asked if she expects the Post to survive and thrive for many years to come, her answer is an emphatic, "I do."
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