This was the day that Daily News desk editors who didn't want to make the move to West Covina had their buyout applications accepted — a "tense and tearful day," one staffer told me. "The departures are happening at such a fast clip that people who have been given decades to this place and to the industry are really just being unceremoniously shown the door and deserve a chance to say goodbye." Newsroom talk is that involuntary layoffs will follow tomorrow. Here are notes sent by some of today's departing journalists.
Melinda Kough, copy editor in Features:
In 1979, when i was in college and still working on my journalism degree, i was fortunate enough to land a job as an editorial assistant at what was then known as the Valley News; it still had a green stripe down the side of A1. i would never have dreamed that i would still be here 30 years later, but one opportunity led to another -- assistant food editor, features rim, features desk chief -- and somehow all that time passed. i can honestly say that i have enjoyed every challenge, every opportunity, and all the knowledge i have gained through the years. to all the talented writers and editors who have made my time here so fulfilling, thank you. to those who have become my good friends, i will miss you. to all of you, i wish you the best of everything. it has been an incredible ride.
Sharon Kaplan, page designer in Features:
Well, this is it. I guess I have to say goodbye. The pleasure of working at the Daily News for the past 12 and a half years has been entirely mine, and I have greedily enjoyed every last minute. I feel like I have gotten much more than I gave to this newspaper. I have worked among giants in this business -- and jesters -- and I am grateful for every flarb, frack and jasper. I am so proud to have worked alongside of all you on every news story that this staff, past and present, has knocked out of the park with its first-rate reporting, editing, designing and Web-ing. Each and every one of you is a class act, and I will wrap up all my memories and carry them with me to wherever my next journey takes me. Buck up and soldier on ... oh, and e-mail me ... often ... I love you all to bits and pieces.
Copy editor Carol Bidwell's is tinged with more sadness about the state of the Daily News and of the newspaper business:
ok, so i'm outta here after 21 years, 21 at my former paper, 1 at my first paper, 2 weeks at some godawful grass magazine in van nuys before ron kaye saved me...i will not miss what this place has become. i would have missed it 10 years ago, or even a year ago, but not now. and i choose not to attend the funeral.
i was in newspapers when reporters were allowed to drive chp cars 130 mph in pursuits (we caught the asshole), carry guns (my .38 went off in the office once, but didn't hit anybody), get shot at (he missed), hang out in the jail with the prisoners, hobnob with judges at lunch and all manner of exciting stuff. alas, the world is too worried now about lawsuits, so the fun is no more. and so am i.
i'm not only leaving the dn, but the newspaper industry. from where i sit, it has no future that i care to be a part of. so i have taken inventory, discovered that this business has taught me many skills that i was only passably aware of, and that there is a big world out there that has need of these skills. hopefully....
i've made a lot of friends; you all know who you are. and i will miss you. please stay in touch via phone, e-mail, and facebook -- and my new web site: carolbidwell.exploretalent.com (for my upcoming career as a film/tv/commercial extra). (acting's one of those skills i didn't realize i had...)