The End of Denver Post Cuts -- For Now

Here's something else you won't read about (yet) in the Denver Post.

On June 12, Post editor Greg Moore (pictured) sent out a memo to troops revealing that two more employees, assistant city editor Diane Alters and computer-assisted-reporting editor Jeff Roberts (no relation), had been dismissed in cost-slashing actions. In addition, he informed staffers about a series of additional moves affecting assorted travel and expense budgets, not to mention freelance positions; at least six part-timers were told their services were no longer needed, including longtimer Jenny Deam. Thanks to these efforts, Moore wrote that the Post was within targeted budgetary limits, thereby preventing additional layoffs that might have caused as many as twenty workers at the low end of the seniority scale to pack up their desks.

The June 21 edition of the Message will include more details about these developments. In the meantime, here's the complete Moore memo noted above:

Dear Staff:

The past couple months, and especially the past week, have been stressful for everyone. For some it has been a pins-and-needles existence. So I am relieved that through a combination of monetary cuts and tough personnel reductions, we are now on track to meet our targeted budget number for next year. We have managed to do this without a significant loss of "feet on the street," which has always been the goal.

Still, losing a single soul here has been wrenching. Last Monday, I sent out a list of the journalists whose jobs were eliminated: Jim Spencer, Todd Engdahl, Regina Avila, Kay Jarvis, Carla Kimbrough-Robinson. Add to that Diane Alters and Jeff Roberts.

In addition to these personnel cuts and the buyouts, we have cut the budgets for travel, syndicates and freelance to achieve substantial savings and will be eliminating a number of part-time positions. With these cuts, I believe we're done for now. Other needed savings in the upcoming budget year we hope to get through staff attrition.

I know all of us are going to miss our colleagues who contributed so much to this paper. I hope you all understand that we have done our very best to avoid damaging the paper as much as possible while responding to the tough economic times the industry is facing.

But we have lost a lot these last 18 months. For those of us who remain, it is fine to breathe a sigh of relief that more cuts are not in the offing. But reflect on those who have departed and, please, let's all redouble our efforts to fill their shoes and create an even more vibrant and vital paper. We owe it to them, at the very least.

As I have mentioned, we are working through details of a reorganization that will involve new duties for a number of people. We hope to roll it out soon for digestion, reasonable refinements and feedback.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there, especially these past few, nerve-racking days. And let's keep our fingers crossed that things improve for our industry. It's been a rough ride.


A rough ride, indeed -- and with the aforementioned newsroom reorganization in the offing, there's no guarantee that future travels at the Post will be bump-free. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts