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Is the Rocky Turning a Corner?

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Over the past few months, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post memos about departing employees have excluded information about replacement hires for a very simple reason: Both papers have been trying to shrink their staffs via attrition and buyouts. But a June 26 note sent to Rocky employees by managing editor Deb Goeken reverses that trend.

Goeken's missive bids a fond farewell to assistant city editor Colleen McDaniel, who's accepted a gig at Norkfolk, Virginia's Virginian-Pilot. Nothing unusual in that -- at least until the piece's conclusion, when Goeken reveals that the Rocky plans to advertise the opening.

Here's the memo:

Everybody: Assistant City Editor Colleen McDaniel has just been named Sports Editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. This fulfills a longtime dream and goal for Colleen, who has been working toward running her own sports department. We are very proud of her, and know she will tackle her new job with the same commitment and drive and creativity that she has brought to every assignment here. Colleen joined the Rocky in July 2001 as a copy editor in sports. She was promoted to assistant sports editor by Sports Editor Barry Forbis a couple years later. She's been, at different times, in charge of the annual football sections, Rocky Mountain Adventure, High Country, Tracks, the Crush and Mammoth section. She had been named editor of the Saturday section and then took on the new challenge of running the City Desk operation at night. Colleen is a native of Madison, Wisc., and earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and a graduate degree in newspaper journalism from Syracuse University. Before the Rocky, she worked as assistant sports editor at the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle and assistant sports editor at the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch.

Here's her take on her new job: "My biggest priority is introducing daily enterprise into the section (taking a cue from Barry, Bob Willis and the Rocky sports department.) I also will bridge the very wide gap between print and Web." She says she leaves here with a heavy heart, "as I truly love the paper and staff."

Please wish her well in her new adventure. And watch for a posting for the ACE opening.


The last sentence might seem insignificant when viewed in the context of the newspaper industry's current struggles. But for readers who'd like the Denver dailies to survive for as long as possible, it constitutes a tiny bit of good news. -- Michael Roberts

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