Friday, September 12, 2008

The demise of quality local journalism in Sacramento.

Photograph by Jay Mather

Sacramento Bee cuts work force another 7%
By Dale Kasler -

Under continued pressure to reduce costs, The Bee cut its work force on Wednesday by another 7 percent, this time through voluntary buyouts.

The Bee said 87 full- and part-time employees accepted a buyout offer that followed a previous round of layoffs and attrition in June that shrank the staff by 8 percent.

The buyouts went to 23 newsroom employees.

It wasn't clear whether that's the end of the staff cuts. At the time buyouts were offered, Publisher and President Cheryl Dell said more layoffs were possible if there weren't enough takers.

She said on Wednesday the paper won't know for a couple of weeks if the buyouts did the trick.

"I know there's anxiety with not having an answer today," she said.

The newspaper industry has been hobbled by the economic slump and competition from the Internet, prompting layoffs at almost every chain.

The facts of the story don't tell the whole story. No one who is leaving the place where they poured their heart and soul into is named. It is those people with their own lives, families, problems and promises for a better future who need to be recognized for what they did to make Sacramento a fine place to live and be informed about the world around them. David Barton compiled most of the list and I added several more. Most of these journalists, including three Pulitzer Prize recipients, worked decades at the Bee and none would have imagined their careers ending or being drastically altered in the free fall that the newspaper industry is enduring. I worked with virtually everyone on this list at some point in my 20 years at the Bee. The names include those who have left in the past few years or so. Good luck my friends.

Mike Dunne
Janet Fullwood
Pat Rubin
Dorothy Korber
Deb Kollars
Bruce Dancis
Sarah Williams
Dan Vierra
David Favrot
Lori Richardson
Bob Sylva
Greg Endicott
Kevin McKenna
Gwen Schoen
Art Campos
Lakiesha McGhee
Milt Whaley
Ramon Coronado
Edgar Sanchez
Barbara Stubbs
Lisa Elizondo
Matt Carroll
Angie Pappas
Mark Billingsley
Matt Boudourian
Gerri Boutrarye
Janice Coleman
Fahizah Alim
Mareva Brown
Alison ApRoberts
Ralph Montano
Lisa Heyamoto
Dan Nguyen
Cameron Jahn
Christina Jewett
Kevin German
Todd Milbourn
Erica Chavez
John Hughes
Dorsey Griffith
Elizabeth Hume
Crystal Carreon
Nancy Weaver Teichert
Jocelyn Weiner
Pamela Martineau
John Williams
Edie Lau
Walt Wiley
Owen Brewer
Cynthia Craft
Judy Lin
Tom Philp
Steve Gibson
Gwendolyn Trump
Pauline Haynes
Mark Kreidler
Maria Henson
Stuart Drown
R.E. Graswich
Becky Boyd
Patricia Beach Smith
Gary Delsohn
Jim Richardson
Alexa Bluth
Clint Swett
Rick Rodriguez
David Barton
Laura Mecoy
Erhardt Krause
Amy Eckert
Emily Bazar
John Decker
Dick Schmidt
Claire Cooper
Molly Dugan
Dick Gilmore
Rasmi Simhan
Jim Jenkins
Herb Sample
Thuy-Doan Le
Jay Mather


Kevin German said...

They will be deeply missed.

Pat said...

I hope you are comforted that you worked for The Bee when it was a vital force in town. I personally think it peaked in the late 1980s when C.K. was still around, Gregory Favre was running the place and people like Dexter, Baltake, Wisehart and Corn were writing lively, thought-provoking pieces. It is now a mere shadow of itself. Feel free to disagree.

Jay Mather said...

Thanks for the comment, Pat (PBS I assume). I am very aware and grateful of the fact that I worked for the Bee in the days of C.K. and Gregory and I fully agree with you that the paper does not even come close to those earlier times. The people who were there tried hard, got boxed in and had ideas and opinions swept under the rug by intransigent managers. To your names I would add Rick Abrams, Maharidge, Deb Blum. Many others, for sure.

Donna said...

Hi. I am not a staff or former staff member of the Bee, just a reader. I agree with you and Pat about how wonderful the paper was twenty years ago, when I first moved to the area. I really loved reading Deborah Blum's science column and Joe Baltake's strong movie reviews and Pete Dexter's stuff always just blew me away. And, yes, Elaine Corn was the best. There have been so many more. I hate to slight them, but I don't want to take up your space here. I do, however, want to say "thank you" to each and every one of them. The will be missed.

Jay Mather said...

Such kind words, thank you.

Stanley said...

Jan Townsend was the only food writer of importance at the Bee. Other excellent writers included Loretta Kalb, Mark Glover, Nancy Vogel, & Andy Furillo. I'm especially sorry to see Dave Favrot leave -- a superb editor & a gentleman.

Jeffrey said...

I was told Bob Sylva was inquiring about my publication. If someone knows how to contact him, please have him call NikkeiWest.