D-Day At The Sun-Sentinel -- UPDATED
The Sun-Sentinel is laying off numerous staffers today and by the time its over 20 percent of the newsroom will be gone.
That amounts to about 55 employees. About half have either already taken the buyout voluntarily or been laid off. The remainder will be informed today that they are losing their jobs (those laid off will get the same severance package as those that took the buyout). Sources also say there was a shake-up at Sentinel offices in Palm Beach County yesterday involving transfers and layoffs.
"This week has been the weirdest and hardest in my professional life," one Sentinel staffer wrote to the Pulp. "It is like death row before a mass execution."
NEW: The first confirmed layoff today is reporter and former foreign correspondent Tim Collie, a first-rate journalist who deserves a blog post of his own. This seems to indicate the direction the Sentinel is going: cheap, cheap, cheap.
Here is the work-in-progress list of those who been laid off or given buyouts*:
-- Reporter Tim Collie (former foreign correspondent)
-- Investigations Editor Joe Demma
-- Race and Demographics Editor Michele Salcedo
-- Tallahassee Bureau Chief Linda Kleindienst (voluntary)
-- Reporter Robin Benedick (voluntary)
-- Reporter Sally Apgar
-- Reporter Chrystian Tejedor
-- Assistant City Editor John Rhodes (voluntary)
-- Photographer Bob Mayer (voluntary)
-- Condo columnist Joe Kollin (voluntary)
-- Online producer Jack Brennan (voluntary)
-- Online producer Ray Lynch (voluntary)
-- Reporter Nancy Othon (voluntary)
-- Sports reporter Craig Barnes (voluntary)
-- Copy editor Ed Giuliotti (voluntary)
-- Copy editor Marion Phelps (voluntary)
-- Copy editor and books writer Oline Cogdill (voluntary)
-- Features copy editor Sandra King (voluntary)
-- Arts writer Emma Trelles (voluntary)
-- Arts and entertainment editor Robin Berkowitz (didn't even take a buyout; just leaving)
-- Editorial assistant Cheryl Frost (voluntary)
-- Newsroom secretary Karen "K Bear" Osborne (voluntary)
-- Editorial page copy editor Ann Carter (voluntary)
-- Debra Gibbs, Help Team (voluntary)
-- Scott Stahmer, senior copy editor (voluntary)
-- Photographer Andrew Innerarity
-- Online producer Brian Wacker
-- Features copy editor and "The Skinny" blogger Gail Gedan Spencer
-- Copy editor Marci Shatzman
-- Editorial Assistant Heather Walker
-- Sports (tennis) writer Charles Bricker
-- Race and demographics reporter Tal Abbady (voluntary)
-- Business writer Margie Plunkett
-- Justin Knapfel, photo imaging
-- Bob Hudak, photo imaging
-- Reporter Thomas Monnay
-- Tallahassee editorial assistant Lynette Norris
-- Senior copy editor Steve Solomon (voluntary)
-- Sports copy editor Rich Biebrich (voluntary)
-- Copy editor Tina de la Fe
There's a lot of talent on that list. It was only a few years ago that the Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post were two business powerhouses squaring off to do battle in Palm Beach. The Sun-Sentinel basically had regional domination in its sights. Ah,the best laid schemes o' mice and men.
*Thanks to everyone who has helped with the list. A lot of trust here, so it's possible the list might change slightly as we go forward.