DENVER – The Denver Post newsroom was dealt another blow Wednesday when it was announced that another 30 percent of its staff would be cut in coming weeks – the latest downsizing to Colorado’s largest newspaper.
Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo gave the news to the staff Wednesday afternoon, causing an outpouring of emotion from The Post’s journalists and others who have watched the 126-year-old paper have its staff cut repeatedly over the past few years under Denver-based MediaNews Group (known as Digital First Media), which is controlled primarily by a billion-dollar New York hedge fund, Alden Global Capital.
City hall reporter Jon Murray was the first to tweet the news: “In a staff meeting, the @DenverPost editor just told us that we are cutting 30 positions in the newsroom. There are some sobs in the room.”
In a staff meeting, the @DenverPost editor just told us that we are cutting 30 positions in the newsroom.
There are some sobs in the room.
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) March 14, 2018
As of Wednesday morning, there were between 90 and 100 newsroom staffers at The Post, according to staffers.
According to some reporters who tweeted out details of the cuts, there will be 25 Denver Newspaper Guild Union positions cut and five from the paper’s news management team. Twenty-five of the jobs will be cut by April 9, according to The Post, and the other five will be eliminated by July 1.
Employees can volunteer to leave and apply for severance packages over the next week, The Post reports, and no final decisions about whose jobs will be cut have been made at the time.
“These job losses are painful, and we know meaningful work will not get done because talented journalists have left the organization,” Colacioppo wrote in a memo to staffers that was released by The Post. “I’m sure some commenters will cheer what they believe is the eventual demise of the mainstream media, but there is nothing to celebrate when a city has fewer journalists working in it.”
The Post moved its main offices out of downtown Denver to Adams County in recent months. Its former president and CEO, Mac Tully, resigned from the paper effective Jan. 31.
The layoffs come on the heels of about 45 positions being cut either through buyouts or layoffs in 2015 and 2016, according to the Denver Business Journal.
Digital First Media has also hollowed out the Southern California New Group in recent months, leaving the area with just a fraction of the journalists it once had.
“Hedge funds should not own newspapers,” tweeted Post projects reporter Jennifer Brown. “@AldenExposed, please sell us.”
— Jennifer Brown (@JBrownDPost) March 15, 2018
Julie Reynolds, who writes for News Matters, a guild project that represents Digital First Media workers, wrote in a headline about the cuts that Digital First was “eviscerating” its papers.
The Post has won four of its nine Pulitzer Prizes in the past eight years – most recently for the 2012 Aurora shooting.
“This is dreadfully stressful, I know,” Colacioppo wrote in the memo posted by The Post. “I also know this: The Denver Post will emerge on the other side still doing important work that impacts the lives of our readers – stories that inform them, move them, surprise them and entertain them. We will continue our aggressive, groundbreaking efforts to find ways to reach and connect with those readers.”
Denver7 is a news partner of The Denver Post’s, but is not owned by Digital First Media.