Denver Post lays off two amid continuing sale rumors
Denver Post sale rumors began circulating earlier this month -- and they won't be quieted by the latest developments at the paper.
Marcus Chamberland, as seen in a photo from his Facebook page.
Two longtime staffers -- assistant city editor Marcus Chamberland and copy editor Chris Metteer -- have been laid off, and we hear that a new hire was put on hold following the end of a major initiative from the Post's parent company, Digital First Media. The closure of that program, dubbed the Thunderdome, sparked speculation about a possible sale in the first place.
As we've reported, the Thunderdome is described on the DFM web page dedicated to it as "Digital First Media's solution to providing content, support and coordination to its network of more than 100 local newsrooms, each with their own distinct communities and stories. Think of it as the wire service local newsrooms wish they had. Based on the strength of this network, Thunderdome is able to leverage the most-engaging news reports of the day -- produced by DFM journalists and through a growing portfolio of media partners -- for publication and distribution on all platforms."
This approach, along with endeavors such as the clunkily titled Project Unbolt, were envisioned by DFM's boss, John Paton, as a way to lead newspapers forward amid the digital revolution. But on April 2, Paton shared a blog entitled "Moving on From Thunderdome," in which he announced that the company had decided it was time to "go in a new direction."
A banner from the Inside Thunderdome web page.
Colleagues:Chamberland has served in a number of roles at the Post since 2003, surviving previous cutbacks along the way. Here's an excerpt from his LinkedIn page about the eleven months he spent as an assistant editor:
By now you are probably aware that unfortunately we were forced to do two staff reductions today to address our continuing budget challenges in the coming fiscal year.
The positions for Chris Metteer and Marcus Chamberland were eliminated. We want to thank Chris and Marcus for their long service to The Post. These reductions are never easy, and we all hurt when they happen.
There are other difficult operational cuts under consideration , but we don't foresee any further reductions in personnel. More on that later.
No one can predict the future, but we believe these moves, along with carefully managing our resources, will meet our budget goals. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I will be back in the office tomorrow.
I was retained when two-thirds of my colleagues were laid off in June 2012. After that point, I was responsible for all of my old duties as well as interfacing daily with reporters and line editors covering politics, the Colorado legislature and breaking news. Workload increased substantially, and I became comfortable with the heavier workload and was able to maintain the quality of work that has always been my standard.The profile notes that Chamberland was named assistant city editor in February -- meaning that his apparent promotion was followed a short time later by the elimination of his position.
Continue for more about the latest layoffs at the Denver Post, including more photos.