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Waiting for the Strib list

Posted at 3:53 PM on June 4, 2007 by Melanie Sommer

The reporters at the Star Tribune newspaper had until 5 p.m. Friday to sign up for the buyout being offered by the paper, to reduce its staff and labor costs. We're expecting the paper to release that list sometime in the next day or so. But lots of names are already being floated about on various blogs, including the Minnesota Monitor and Brian Lambert at The Rake.

City Pages has a running tally going, and the list is full of longtime staffers like Eric Black, Conrad Defiebre, Deborah Rybak, Doug Grow, Chuck Haga, Jay Weiner, and photographer Stormi Greener. We'll have details when the official list comes out.

In our newsroom, we've talked a bit about why it is the departure of 50 or so reporters gets more attention than the layoffs of a couple thousand people at the Ford plant, for example. Part of it is because it's our industry; we're also friends and competitors with many of those people. Part of it is because the same thing happened on the other side of the river, with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, just a few months ago.

It also has to do, I think, with a very real concern that the quality of the product (the Star Tribune) will be diminished because so many talented people are going to leave, and those who aren't leaving are working in a very demoralized place. Doesn't bode well for the news business as a whole.