Roanoke's daily paper continues to bleed veteran news professionals and it is now at a point where photographer Stephanie Klein-Davis recently wrote on Facebook that the entire photography staff consists of three people in Roanoke and one in the NRV. "So sad, Jeanna Duerscherl has left the building! We are now a staff of three downtown and one in the bureau. I can hardly handle any more of these going aways."
That "going away" joins two other veteran photographers, Eric Brady and Sam Dean, who left in August and the resignation of veteran reporters Mason Adams and Courtney Cutright most recently. I just learned that Sarah Bruyn Jones will also be leaving shortly. She is the health reporter. Adams covered government and Cutright had more of a general assignment, as I recall.
Another reporter tells me that "I notice the editorial board is picking up the slack and writing about what went on" at various government meetings." Adams is leaving journalism for an environmental job in Floyd. Word is that Lawrence Hammack, who covers courts, will move over to healthcare. No word on who goes to court, but I think readers would like to make a suggestion.
In addition, longtime copy editor John Gibbons, "who had been the main wire editor for at least 10 years, got the boot about 6 weeks ago," according to a former newsroom employee who maintains friendships there.
The publication has been operating with absurd staff levels for some time and institutional memory is at a low point. Institutional memory is as important to newspapers as computers are.