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Denver Post layoffs estimate: 16 copy editors, nearly tenth of staff

greg moore twitter.jpg
Greg Moore.
Update: At this point, neither representatives of the Denver Post nor the folks at the Denver Newspaper Guild seem eager to talk in detail about a plan to lay off two-thirds of the copy editors at the paper of record. However, we've gotten more information about the likely fallout. In the end, as many as sixteen copy editors, representing close to a tenth of the Post's editorial staff, are expected to lose their jobs.

Post editor Greg Moore and I exchanged missed calls earlier this week, but he indicated he would talk about the subject at a later date, when plans are firmed up. The Guild, meanwhile, is limiting its public comments to a statement on view below that describes the layoffs as a "shortsighted cost-cutting measure that will irreparably damage The Denver Post."

One possible reason for mutual reticence: The Post and the Guild are currently negotiating a new contract. Because the latest pact expired in March, Guild members are working under an open-ended extension.

The copy desk at the Post is large, with as many as 25 people employed in this area. As such, the two-thirds figure translates to around sixteen layoffs by month's end. We hear staffers won't formally interview for the new gigs. Instead, they'll be informed about the attendant duties and can then choose to leave or express interest in sticking around. If more than the available number of positions take the latter course, seniority will determine who remains.

Specifics are in flux right now, as Moore implies. But in all likelihood, the future copy editors will be asked to do more than simply edit copy; they'll likely have other roles in the departments to which they're assigned, too.

Makes sense considering the shrinkage afflicting the Post's newsroom. The editorial department had approximately 200 employees prior to nineteen buyouts late last year, as well as subsequent layoffs to columnists Mike Littwin and Penny Parker, among others. As such, another sixteen departures would represent almost 10 percent of the editorial work force even taking into consideration occasional new hires.

Continue reading to see our previous coverage, including the full Guild statement.

Original post, 9:54 a.m. May 1: Last week, sources told us the Denver Post planned to lay off two-thirds of its copy editors as part of a newsroom restructuring, with discussion of the plan slated for a Monday meeting. That get-together took place, and while Post editor Greg Moore hasn't responded to our interview requests at this writing, an attendee confirms the two-thirds figure and includes details of an approach that's drawing strong objections from the Denver Newspaper Guild.

According to an attendee, the layoffs will go into effect at the end of May. In the meantime, copy editors can apply for the positions that will remain. We're told seniority will be considered when it comes to retention.

Late yesterday, the Denver Newspaper Guild responded with a statement about the layoffs. The entire item appears below, but here's the first paragraph:

We at the Denver Newspaper Guild consider ourselves partners with Denver Post management in the effort to position the newsroom and the company to thrive in the new media environment. However, we disagree in the strongest possible terms with the company's decision to lay off two-thirds of the paper's copy editors. We feel it is a shortsighted cost-cutting measure that will irreparably damage The Denver Post.

Thus far, three well-known Post editorial staffers have weighed in on the Guild's take. Music journalist Ricardo Baca dubbed it "well said," while heath-care specialist Michael Booth wrote, "We would be losing a vital layer of journalism and a dedicated and talented group of journalists. What distinguishes us is accuracy and fairness. Let's not pretend those values won't be eroded by this move. I hope The Post will realize how ridiculous and self-defeating it is to add so many vice presidents while subtracting so many actual journalists."

Added feature writer Claire Martin, "Thank you to every copy editor who asked questions that made a story better, more insightful, more accurate, more broad-minded. We need you far more than we need another layer of white guys in bespoke suits."

We've also left an interview request with the Newspaper Guild. When a representative or editor Moore get back to us, we'll update this item. In the meantime, here's the complete Guild statement, followed by a just-issued press release boasting about record-setting digital numbers generated across the Post's various platforms. The Post also published an article about its rising circulation, fueled mainly by online readers. But nothing thus far about the copy-editor layoffs has appeared.

Denver Newspaper Guild statement:

WE AT THE DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD consider ourselves partners with Denver Post management in the effort to position the newsroom and the company to thrive in the new media environment. However, we disagree in the strongest possible terms with the company's decision to lay off two-thirds of the paper's copy editors. We feel it is a shortsighted cost-cutting measure that will irreparably damage The Denver Post.

A news organization serves a vital public role and must be viewed through a more complex lens than one that reduces the operation to just a bottom-line figure. For generations, professional editors represented by the Guild have helped make The Denver Post a trusted news source. This decision by the company could very well erode that hard-earned trust.

The media landscape continues to shift as new technologies demand new business strategies, but one thing must remain constant during this transition period: credibility. We understand the company needs flexibility to make decisions quickly, and we have afforded the company that flexibility with a labor agreement that allows the company to change newsroom operations and reduce the workforce. However, the Guild has serious doubts that the decision by management to slash the ranks of copy editors will result in a more efficient newsgathering process. Instead, we believe it will result in a loss of credibility as more mistakes and errors appear in print and online.

The Denver Post's reputation is at stake.

The Guild will continue to advocate on behalf of not only Denver Post staff, but Denver Post readers.

Thomas McKay
Sara Burnett
Kieran Nicholson
Jim Ludvik
Kyle Wagner
Kevin Hamm
Tony Mulligan

Denver Post press release:

Denver Post digital audience setting records on all platforms

DenverPost.com averages 60 million monthly page views; mobile page views increase 143%

DENVER (May 1, 2012) -- The Denver market is a national leader in embracing digital news delivery, according to a detailed analysis of the latest circulation figures filed by The Denver Post. Over the past six months, average monthly page views of DenverPost.com increased 52% to over 60 million, monthly mobile page views increased 143% to more than 18 million and Denver Post Facebook fans jumped 63% to over 225,000 average monthly fans.

The new circulation numbers demonstrate more and more consumers are turning to The Denver Post throughout the day for news and information, on the platforms of their choice.

"Hundreds of thousands of people still start their day with the printed Denver Post," said Bill Reynolds, Denver Post Senior Vice President of Circulation. "And throughout the day, our print readers are joining hundreds of thousands of more people who stay connected with our websites and mobile sites, use our apps and view the digital edition on tablets and laptops. These latest numbers show that people are consuming our news coverage 24 hours a day on every available platform."

The analysis of the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) report shows total circulation for The Sunday Denver Post increased 10.6% to 595,363 for the six months ending March 31, 2012, compared to the previous reporting period (April-Sept. 2011). Total Saturday circulation increased 10% to 428,570 and daily circulation rose 13.6% to 401,120 during the same six month period (Oct. 2011-March 2012). The new numbers include circulation for home delivery, single copy and other printed copies and editions, plus readers accessing digital replica and nonreplica editions on mobile devices, tablets, e-readers and computers.

The Denver Post suite of mobile apps and sites are increasingly popular with smart phone and tablet users. Over the past six months, mobile page views of DenverPost.com averaged 18.2 million a month, an increase of 143%, and mobile unique visitors increased 91% to 471,000. During the same time period, monthly page views of The Denver Post digital replica edition averaged 4.6 million, a 42% increase, as more people accessed the digital edition on personal computers, laptops, smart phones and tablet devices.

Current traffic numbers for March 2012 show even more dramatic digital growth for The Denver Post. According to Omniture, Verve Wireless, Spreed and Doapps, DenverPost.com had 7.6 million unique visitors accessing 71 million pages in March, and mobile page views reached 24.6 million. The network of all Denver Post sites, which includes DailyCamera.com and ColoradoDaily.com, had 9.7 million unique visitors accessing 80 million pages in March.

"Denver is a fantastic digital market," said Ed Moss, Denver Post President and CEO. "Our current growth clearly shows that we're the brand people trust for news and information, and we're adding new features and products all the time. We just launched DP TV, a new two-minute lunchtime online newscast that's designed to keep people informed during their workday."

In the social media marketplace, Denver Post Facebook fans and Twitter followers continue to lead all local media competitors. Over the past six months (Oct. 2011-March 2012), the average monthly number of Denver Post combined Facebook fans increased 63% and Twitter followers increased 11%. As of March 2012, The Post has 630,603 combined followers on Twitter and 251,056 combined fans on Facebook.

The Denver Post is a brand of Digital First Media. Headquartered in New York City, Digital First Media jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company properties. Digital First Media reaches 57 million Americans each month through more than 800 multi-platform products across 18 states.

Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Media archive: "Bear photo at CU-Boulder: Student retains copyright but wants adviser apology."


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39 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 

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Harry121154
Harry121154

I still read the Denver Post more than ever....hours everyday. But I do not benefit from the advertising news from this source because their is no significant advertising in the newspaper. Hence that's why they are going out of business. Denver Post - you've got a serious problem! I love your paper and product but you cannot monetize it (using a media marketing term). Also I will never pay for your newspaper because it is worth exactly what the marketplace determines it to be - FREE!

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ch2012

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Silent Majority
Silent Majority

If you are a Jew, Catholic, Christian or Mormon, The Denver Post does not need or want your business. If you served or serve in the United States Armed Forces, The Denver Post does need or want your business. If you are not a traitor to the United States of America, a child molester or baby killer, sexual pervert or deviant, and if you are not ready and willing to suck William Dean Singleton's rotting, limp dick, The Denver Post does not need or want your business.

Consider it done.

iservenomaster
iservenomaster

Whenever I get asked by a Denver Post salesperson at the grocery store if I want a "complimentary" newspaper...  I respond kindly.

"No thanks, I'm not interested in yesterday's news".

I can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper and I quit TV in 2006.  Less paper pollution as well as noise pollution has also been a bonus since I shut both of those things out!

Ken
Ken

I don't knoe which one is going to bite the dust and disappear first:  the Denver Post or Playboy magazine.  I have minimal subscriptions to both but greatly fear one or both will die hard and fast before I get even a tiny part of my money's worth.  That is the reason why I just sign up for three month subscriptions at a time for the Post.  Once Hefner croaks that is it for Playboy.  One of the most ugly things about the Post nowadays:  the Sunday paper is now equivalent to a weekday paper from five years or so ago, and the weekday papers, particularly in the first half of the week, are equal to the small town newspaper of my youth.  In other words, the Monday through Wednesday Post is useless and not worth a nickel.  At least when they ran the free fast food coupons on the weather page one could get their money back and then some, but now its just better to avoid those days all together and just listen to Boyles, Sirota, and Rosen to get the news, and wait for Whiteley, Brown, and Williams to hear the sports..

Jondaly70
Jondaly70

note to Claire: as a white guy, i'm tiring of hearing people complain of "white guys in bespoke suits." it makes me think that you are a typically narrow minded progressive, ideologically committed to identity politics, who doesn't really care about whether the paper that pays you actually makes any money. in  other words, you sound spoiled and a little racist. BTW, your editor is black.

P.S. please run your snarky comments through one of the remaining copyeditors. he/she will tell you to avoid shiny words like "bespoke."  yeah, it makes you sound kinda smart, but your readers don't speak that way.

Guest
Guest

Typically gutless management response. Of course they're not going to tell readers "Guess what? We're about to give you a worse product."

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"Union Objects"

LOL! ... let those commie pinkos buy the paper and run it themselves.

Bill
Bill

Maybe Greg fled town like he did last week after dropping the e-mail. Just another clueless newspaper type who has no idea what copy editors do and how important they are.

TBRADLEY
TBRADLEY

silent majority-you are a complete moron!

TBRADLEY
TBRADLEY

Iservenomaster-what planet do you live on? your attitude reeks of extreme arrogance!!

spot
spot

Smug, ever?

KenB
KenB

The Post is more than "yesterday's news," even if it does have too much of that. The paper still produces some very good journalism. Outdated as the Post's and other dailies' business models may be, the demise of mass-audience outlets will speed the breakup of our communities by contributing to the sad factionalization we see already. 

Alex
Alex

From the huffy charge of reverse racism larded with the received "wisdom" of the boardroom to the ending admonition to dumb it down for us, lady, this is just a breathtakingly dumb comment. Worse, in its own addled way, than Joe's insistence that past (imaginary) debt is dragging down the Post's bottom line.

And really, you're tired of the hearing people complain about "white guys in bespoke suits"? This is a phrase used regularly in your presence? Are you also in an uproar about the Beluga caviar embargo?

Bill
Bill

 It's copy editors. Two words. And you capitalize the first letter of a sentence.

spot
spot

Hmm, I don't recall any announcement in Westword regarding the layoffs there, either.

TBRADLEY
TBRADLEY

Donkey Hotay-I happen to be one of those "Union objects" members and can tell you that I am no commie pinko! LOL!!!

Ted
Ted

How Important copy editors are? Get a clue? The days in media where one person does one job went away 15 years ago. Nobody in the newspaper industry seems to have learned the lessons of the Rocky Mountain News. God forbid we ask a reporter to write more than 3 stories a week. Every person employed by a newspaper is living in the past. As smart as most newspaper people seem to be, they still haven't figured out their industry is in shambles, and have yet to react to it.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Repugs ... always "cut and run" when the going gets tough.

spot
spot

These layoffs are not Greg Moore's idea. Probably not Dean Singleton's either.

iservenomaster
iservenomaster

 "arrogance"?  I made statements based on fact.

I do not own a TVI do not read the newspaper

Newspapers report news and information that is old, sometimes they have to print "corrections" in future editions

People love to use television to watch tragedy and mayhem unfold before their eyes and some can even do so using the internet...you can't get that with a newspaper.

I also forgot another benefit of not reading the newspaper...having to thumb around for the rest of the story buried in between advertising on another page then looking at my fingertips to find leftover ink staining.

Unfortunately, you confuse my OPINION with arrogance. 

Guest
Guest

 I'm guessing Iservenomaster lives on planet earth and pays attention to reality. Your attitude, on the other hand, reeks of extreme ignorance.

Guest
Guest

 Did you have your sense of humor surgically removed?

Guest
Guest

 So that excuses the Post's shoddy, dishonest "journalism" and the disgraceful way it is treating its employees? Shame on you, spot.

Jondaly70
Jondaly70

lol. you MUST be a member of the media. you make no effort to hide your bias and you REALLY believe that the "repugs" are to blame for the changes that have overtaken the newspaper industry. If you really want to blame someone, you can blame Silicon Valley for inventing the Internet. Then again, most of the folks who run those companies are democrats....so, i guess we can't blame them. right?

Guest
Guest

 Bankers run the place now. That's where Dean's debt got them.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Still hoping Greg Moore will get back to us on this subject. Will update when and if he does. Thanks for the comment, Spot.

Guest
Guest

 you should be, since you don't know what you're talking about.

spot
spot

Great thanks, O kind sir or madam, for sharing your enlightened OPINION with us. I, for one, am truly humbled in the electronic presence of your non-arrogance.

Guest
Guest

 Nope. Just people who are dead wrong.

TBRADLEY
TBRADLEY

guest-I live in the real world too and am not ignorant of anything. You on the other hand like to attack anyone who does not agree with you.

Guest
Guest

 Yes, Joe, they mean nothing, or else the Post wouldn't be slashing and burning its own product. Your grasp of newspaper economics is breathtakingly shallow.

Joe
Joe

 Well, except for those cyber stats above. Guess that means nothing

Bill
Bill

 And you can blame the newspaper executives who gave away the product and failed to keep up with the times, think this Internet fad will go away and newspapers will survive because they always have. Whoops.

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