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Strib buyouts: here’s the list

The Strib’s online managing editor and obituaries reporter are among the names.
By David Brauer

It’s just gone up in the newsroom. Here are the names byline-watchers might know:

♦ Business reporter Mike Meyers (as reported here earlier this week).
♦ Metro columnist Katherine Kersten (ditto).
♦ Obituaries reporter Ben Cohen. (No jokes about appropriate occupation, please.)
♦ Travel writer/photographer Chris Welsch
♦ Web designer Jaime Chismar (of the Greengirls blog).

Meyers and Cohen are the only non-features beat reporters. Welsch, who has been on leave, is a big loss from the writing side — his prose is beautiful. Apparently business reporter H.J. Cummins‘ buyout request was turned down; I’m sorry for her.

The biggest new name of the bunch — and a surprising one — is Online Managing Editor Will Tacy.

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Tacy has been a big part of the Strib’s shiny web future, and was elevated to the ME slot this year (the Strib has three). During his tenure, the website has punched far above its newspaper weight, traffic-wise. The website is regularly in the top three among all newspapers for the time users spend on-site, and often leads the pack. Given the Strib’s online push, this isn’t a small loss.

Among other names: sports copy editor Bud Armstrong, who’s corralled section copy since Sandy Koufax beat the Twins in the World Series; long-time librarian Roberta Hovde, another key piece of institutional memory; recruiting manager Brenda Rotherham, who has dashed the hopes of many applicants (not me!); and, as previously noted, photography director Peter Koeleman.

Two metro-desk team leaders are leaving: Beth Podtburg and Suzanne Ziegler.

Others I don’t know well but want to acknowledge: copy editors Jay Ewoldt, Mike Bonafield, Barbara Haugen, Sharon Nyberg; designers Laurie Harker and Steve Ray; photo editor Vickie Kettlewell; computer-assisted reporting specialist KJ Peterson; receptionist Josh Johnson, news assistant Mary Beth Vanyo, researcher Janet Rak.

I count 23 names; the Strib had been seeking 25 buyouts. (Update: I’m told Tacy might not qualify toward the goal.) Will layoffs be avoided? I’m trying to find out.