Buyout-Depleted 'Star-Ledger' Reassigns Two Journos -- to Mailroom

By Strupp, Joe | Editor & Publisher, November 19, 2008 | Go to article overview

Buyout-Depleted 'Star-Ledger' Reassigns Two Journos -- to Mailroom


Strupp, Joe, Editor & Publisher


When a newspaper cuts its staff, those who remain in the depleted newsroom become valuable. But as The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. slowly says farewell to 151 newsroom folks who took buyouts last month, at least two longtime journalists have been reassigned to the mailroom.

Reporter Jason Jett and Assistant Deputy Photo Editor Mitchell Seidel have been filing, sorting, and delivering mail for more than a week, according to sources.

Jett and Seidel, who could not be reached for comment, apparently declined to take one of the buyouts offered this fall as part of a companywide move to cut costs.

Publisher George Arwady threatened to sell or close the Advance Publications daily last summer if at least 200 buyouts were not taken and new deals forged with two unions.

In the end, the buyouts were met, with 151 of the newsroom's 330 staffers taking them, along with other non-newsroom employees. In recent weeks, news folks have been leaving little by little, with all of those taking buyouts expected to depart by the end of the year.

Editor Jim Willse declined to comment on the mailroom assignment, while other staffers confirmed the move and revealed their surprise but requested anonymity.

As the buyout-takers continue to leave, the paper distributed a list to employees of those who will stay. The list is posted below.

Those staying include Willse, top columnists Bob Braun and Mark DiIonno, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Matt Rainey, Trenton bureau chief Thomas Martello, Web site video telecast host Brian Donohue, popular sportswriters David D'Alessandro and Paul Needell, political veteran John Farmer, and TV critic Alan Sepinwall

No list of buyout-takers has been publicly distributed. But E&P has learned that it includes Assistant Features Editor Anne-Marie Cottone; Pim Van Hemmen, assistant managing editor/digital; two-time Pulitzer finalist Robin Gaby Fisher; courts and enterprise reporter John Martin; 25-year reporter Gabriel Gluck, and features writer Steve Hedgpeth, who wrote the popular Ricky Retro column.

For hot news, video, and comments go to our new blog: The E&P Pub

*The entire list of newsroom employees who are not taking buyouts includes: Nyier Abdou, Peggy Ackermann, Sharon Adarlo, Mary Ann Spoto, Susan Anderson, Mark Angeles, John Appezzato, Irv Bank, Tanya Batallas, Thomas Bergeron, Robert Bogert, Jenifer Braun, Robert Braun, Janice Brown, Jennifer Brown, Donald Burke, Barry Carter, Frank Cecala, Steven Chambers, Ellen Chase, Richard Chere, Julie Cirelli, Christopher Collins, Pablo Colon, Jeremy Cothran, Kevin Coughlin, Paul Cox, Steven Crabill, Thomas Curran, Jacinta Da Silva, David D'Alessandro, Christopher D'Amico, Thomas De Poto, Bumper Dejesus, Russell Desantis, Mark Di Ionno, Jeffrey Diamant, Mark Dimartini, Michael Donofrio, Brian Donohue, Matthew Dowling, Jeanette Rundquist, Jack Durschlag, Aristide Economopoulos, Stephen Ehringer, Susan Epstein, Vinessa Erminio, John Farmer, Timothy Farrell, Christopher Faytok, Joseph Fisher, Robert Foxworth, Michael Frassinelli, George Frederick, Alexi Friedman, Michael Garafolo, Peter Genovese, Donna Gialanella, Frank Giase, Jeffrey Glenn, Stanley Goldstein, Sarah Golin, Jennifer Golson, Phyllis Grant, Kevin Greczek, Kenneth Green, Michael Guillen, Erica Hammond, Robert Harrison, David Hawkins, Tom Haydon, Claire Heininger, Kelly Heyboer, Saed Hindash, Benjamin Horowitz, Kevin Howell, David Hutchinson, Vicki Hyman, Lisa Irizarry, Chanta Jackson, Kimberly Jackson, Jason JettFrederick Kaimann, Lisa Kennelly, Kelly King, Tony Kurdzuk, Leslie Kwoh, Kathleen Lanini, Debra LaQuaglia, Rudolph Larini, George Latanzio, Enrique Lavin, Steven Lay, Joseph Lee Jr. …

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