Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shocker in Skagit layoffs

In layoffs, rank-and-file workers often complain that not enough managers get the ax. But at the Skagit Valley Herald on Thursday, jaws dropped when Publisher Stedem Wood announced that one of four layoffs in News included Don Nelson, the managing editor himself.

The layoffs, part of a 10-percent staff reduction companywide, took out a news assistant and two reporters who had just merged with the daily staff from two of Skagit Publishing Co.’s weekly community newspapers. Nelson’s layoff was completely unexpected and started the rumor mill.

Scuttlebutt is, Nelson and Wood were headed for a parting of the ways for some time. Although the company offered voluntary buyouts with a surprisingly good package, most of the staff believe that Nelson’s departure was under pressure, and that the size of the staff reductions may have played a role in his abrupt layoff.


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