Denver Post ex-columnist Chuck Murphy leaving paper for job with nonprofit

Thumbnail image for chuck murphy facebook photo.jpg
Chuck Murphy.
Another high-profile staffer is leaving the Denver Post: On November 10, Chuck Murphy, who served briefly as a metro columnist for the paper before taking on a different position amid a series of cost-cutting moves, is leaving the paper to work for an unnamed nonprofit.

But Murphy maintains that his departure isn't a reaction to the continuing tough times in the journalism industry.

Thumbnail image for mike littwin facebook photo.jpg
Mike Littwin.
Back in March, as we've reported, the Post laid off metro columnist Mike Littwin and business scribe Penny Parker and transferred columnist Murphy into a behind-the-scenes social-media-editor role after eliminating his columnist position. Sources tell us the latter change was made because the Post's contract with the Denver Newspaper Guild would have required the paper to give Littwin Murphy's old gig if it had continued to exist.

These maneuvers left Tina Griego as the paper's only metro columnist. But then, in mid-May, Griego announced she was leaving the Post to relocate with her family to Virginia. The Post couldn't simply give Murphy her job, however, because Littwin and Parker had more seniority in the position. As such, the Post either had to rehire one of them or go without a columnist, as laid out in this contract clause:

Employees who are dismissed to reduce the force and employees who have elected to bump into another job title will be placed on a rehiring list, based on seniority, and will be rehired on a seniority basis in the old job title if and when a vacancy occurs.
chuck murphy columnist screen capture.jpg
Because the contract establishes that rehire lists must be maintained for "one (1) year from the date of dismissal," no new columnist other than Littwin or Parker can be hired until March 2013 -- which proved to be a big handicap following the July 20 Aurora theather shooting. In the massacre's immediate aftermath, Murphy wrote a number of pieces under a byline that listed him as a columnist, as seen in the online screen capture above. That was an error, according to Post editor Greg Moore, who said the proper label should have been "commentary."

The latest? Murphy confirms via e-mail that his last day at the Post will be November 10. "I'll be going to work for a local not-for-profit (insert your own joke about the financial state of the newspaper industry here)," he writes.

Continue for more about Chuck Murphy's impending departure from the Denver Post.


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7 comments
Bill
Bill

Michael, do you have a special save-get button that instantly puts in "But xxxx maintains that his departure isn't a reaction to the continuing tough times in the journalism industry," then just add the name. And why do all of those jumping off the ship that's already at the bottom of the ocean lie when they say it's not because of the business or the atmosphere at the Post when it IS because of the business and the toxic environment in the newsroom and the building.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Take note :

BATH-HOUSE regulars , Daniels & Murphy , remain ......

Dmilst
Dmilst

Seems like everyone worth their salt at the Post is now gone. The remaining staffers clearly have no other options. Can you say rotten wood.

eCurmudgeon
eCurmudgeon

I thought the Denver Post was a non-profit.

 

Or at least not-profitable...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The Denver Post deserves to die the death they've bargained for themselves.

 

Reap what ye sow, you spineless cowards.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @eCurmudgeon Had a feeling that joke might be coming. Thanks for the comment, eCurmudgeon.

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