Thursday, November 5, 2009

'Star' Buyout Rumors (updated): Layoffs on the Way?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 9:42 PM

Rumors are starting to bubble up regarding the list of people who agreed to take the Arizona Daily Star's buyout offer—and the biggest name on that list so far is Opinion page editor Ann Brown.

Those taking the buyout will celebrate their last day of employment at the Star tomorrow, Nov. 6

John Schuster and I are trying to confirm this rumor—and that's all it is at this point—as well as confirm other names.

Got any info? Let us know?

UPDATE (9:30 p.m. 11/5): Thanks for the comments and tips, everyone.

UPDATE (11 a.m. 11/6): We've fixed the last name of Rutha.

Names we've heard from sources and the rumor mill (please let us know if anyone sees any errors):

Mary Cooney
Margo Hernandez
Nick Pintozzi
Mark Stewart
Enric Volante
Bill Betterton
Ann Brown
Jim Davis
Rutha Grigsby (corrected last name)

Also, we've heard from several sources that folks at the Star are concerned about the possibility of layoffs—something which publisher John Humenik said would happen if not enough employees took the buyout. Those layoffs could come as soon as tomorrow, if they are to happen.

What's behind these cuts? Well, one need only to look at the Star to know ad counts remain down. Also, some Southern Arizona newspapers as of late (including some of the Weekly's sister papers in Wick Communications) have taken a financial hit after losing some grocery-store inserts to a direct-mail outfit. That could be a culprit in all of this.

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