* Rewritten at 2:40 pm with better info
Brent Hopkins, the Daily News reporter who has been keeping everybody informed about pending cuts via his blog, took the buyout and will make quite a career switch. He has been accepted by the LAPD and will begin classes at the academy in about a month. He's 29. The Paper Trail, the blog he started as the newsroom's union steward, will carry on in the hands of City Hall reporter Kerry Cavanaugh. I don't post the names of layoff victims unless they come forward or hold a newsworthy media position, but I can say that Rick Orlov will continue on the DN's City Hall beat. If there's news I can report, I'll post it. I'm told also that the Press-Telegram took an especially hard hit today, losing more than 20 people from a staff that is considerably smaller than the DN's. I'm looking for details, but was told the axe fell hardest on copy editors and designers.
Hopkins, meanwhile, posts his farewell message at the blog.
Alright, I've already embarrassed myself saying my farewells, so I'll make this quick before I trip myself up. I took the buyout and, once I get seven years of crap off my desk, I'll be out of here. This is a horrible day for many people and I hate to leave on a note like this.
But I'm not going to take the sad memories-- they'll fade away in time. Instead, I'm going to remember all the great, wonderful, insane and beautiful characters who make this place come alive. I'll remember fights over stories, fires, long nights, lawsuits and scanner traffic-- and loving every minute of it. I'll remember Ron lighting his coat on fire to get rid of an errant thread-- and him telling me that he had to hold his nose and get my copy to the level of "barely publishable." Yeah, that's the guy I hold up as my journalistic mentor.
Both as a reporter and as a union guy, it's been an honor to serve alongside you. I will miss you all, but know that the paper and the union will both survive and thrive long after I'm gone. It will be different, it will be challenging, but I've meant every word I've spoken about the strength and character of this staff. You guys are the absolute best and you will keep the fires burning, for the readers, for the community and, most importantly, for each other.
It's hard to write these words -- probably the only time I've ever had trouble running off at the mouth here -- but every one of them is true. You guys are like my family and you always will be. No matter where we all end up, in and out of the business, I will always look back at the people here and the work they do as the best.
I'm going to end now and head off to my next adventure. Thanks to everyone who's made this such a great ride and best of luck to you all.