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Another staffer leaves City Pages

Reporter Beth Walton’s resignation marks the fourth new-side departure since August, but she cites family reasons, not professional disagreements with editor Kevin Hoffman.
By David Brauer

At a time when journalists desperately cling to their jobs, City Pages staffers keep giving up theirs.

Reporter Beth Walton‘s resignation takes effect in mid-December. She’s the fourth news-side veteran to leave since August.

Walton’s departure follows the resignations of reporter Jeff Severns Guntzel, web editor Jeff Shaw and reporter Jonathan Kaminsky. While Guntzel and Shaw left due to professional disagreements with editor Kevin Hoffman, Kaminsky had a more objective reason — his wife got a Supreme Court clerkship in the Pacific island nation of Palau.

Like Kaminsky, Walton cites family reasons for her departure. She is getting married and her fiancée and family live in Michigan. She has a job beginning in January as the development director for the state Girl Scouts; Walton has a master’s degree in development administration.

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Of the four departed staffers — all hired during Hoffman’s tenure — only Kaminsky lasted more than 12 months. Still, Walton places herself on the peace-and-love side of the ledger.

“I think that City Pages is doing a really good job with their website and we have a really good staff there,” she says. “I think the paper is going to thrive.”

Acknowledging what has been a tumultous CP workplace culture, Walton says, “I’m really sad to leave and it’s developed into a positive work environment the past few months.”

The former Michigan and Las Vegas reporter leaves behind a news staff consisting of Matt Snyders, Bradley Campbell, Emily Kaiser (hired to replace Severns Guntzel) and Erin Carlyle (Kaminsky’s successor). Jen Boyles, a former CP writer, was lured back from Chicago to replace Shaw as web editor.

So far, Village Voice Media has not posted Walton’s job;  I’m checking to see if it will be filled given the media recession and post-Christmas ad bust.

Update: Hoffman says the job will be filled and “we already have somebody in mind for the position.”