Kevin Vaughan, Denver Post city editor, leaving to join nonprofit I-News
Despite reassurances, questions continue to be raised about the financial health of the Denver Post following the bankruptcy of the Journal Register Company, sister firm of MediaNews Group, the Post's owner. But Post city editor Kevin Vaughan insists that sinking-ship fears had nothing to do with his surprising decision to leave the paper to become a staff writer for I-News, a scrappy journalism nonprofit.
His explanation? "As I'm approaching my 49th birthday, I decided to do something kind of crazy."
Last December, when he was named city editor, we noted that Vaughan came to the Post after the February 2009 shuttering of the Rocky Mountain News, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for "The Crossing," a massive series about a 1961 schoolbus-train accident that took twenty lives.
Vaughan was among a slew of high-profile Rocky staffers to make the leap to the Post at that time, including Mike Littwin, Penny Parker, Tina Griego, Dave Krieger and Bill Johnson. Less than four years later, this quintet is gone, and Vaughan will be, too, as of October 12, leaving Lynn Bartels and Vince Carroll as the best-known survivors. Even so, Vaughan notes that several other Rocky vets who were hired at the Post after the first wave (such as sportswriter Jeff Legwold and photo pro Dean Krakel) are still on staff, "and that makes me happy."
After his arrival at the Post, Vaughan was frequently assigned to cover the biggest stories of the day -- like, for instance, the shocking fall of ex-Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan. His move behind the scenes meant far fewer bylines, but while he admits to having missed long-form journalism, he says these feelings weren't his primary motivation for moving to I-News, run by another onetime Rocky journalist, Laura Frank.
"I just sort of had an itch to challenge myself in a new way," he says. "I wasn't really looking for a job. I wasn't really considering doing anything like that until Laura and I started to talk recently -- and it just felt in my gut like something I wanted to do. I've been really intrigued to see what some of these non-profit journalism groups, like MinnPost and Voice of San Diego, have been doing. I found that intriguing, and having worked with Laura at the Rocky, I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and what she's put together over there during a relatively short period of time."
Continue to read more about Kevin Vaughan's jump from the Denver Post to I-News.