Newsroom travesty continues in Arizona

Arizona Daily Star newsroom 1972


All-star lineup of Tucson reporters faces buyouts, layoffs loom

By Dylan Smith |

A list of household names on the Arizona Daily Star staff must soon decide if they’ll stay on the job — the newspaper’s corporate owners have offered buyouts for older workers, with the veiled threat of potential layoffs pending if not enough staffers accept.

At least a dozen journalists have been given 45 days to decide if they’ll accept six months of salary to walk away from their jobs as part of a cost-cutting effort by Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based media chain that runs Tucson’s daily newspaper.

On the list — and possibly soon no longer appearing on the morning daily’s roster of journalists — are Greg Hansen, sports columnist, arts reporter Kathy Allen and environmental reporter Tony Davis, sources at the Star and others familiar with the situation said.

David Fitzsimmons, the outspoken editorial cartoonist and columnist, faces leaving his pen on his drawing board. Reporter Carmen Duarte has been at the Star since 1981. Other names familiar to even casual readers of the paper are on the list: Ernesto Portillo. Carol Ann Alaimo. Doug Kreutz. Alfredo Araiza and Ron Medvescek have photographed untold numbers of Tucsonans at thousands of news events. And behind the scenes, local news editor Norma Coile and copy editor George Campbell have worked to keep the news coming our way.

This round of buyouts is taking place across Lee’s chain of nearly 50 newspapers, sources said.


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February 2019