Sunday, June 28, 2009

Campbell Avenue Soap Opera Updates

More from the land of cut and past over on Campbell Avenue at The Roanoke Times, where the news department continues to be patched together. Seems the pasting of the newsie leaks continues, judging from the e-mails I'm getting.

Here's the latest from somebody I trust:

"Lerone Graham--a recently married man who's been working as an intern for well over a year now--either has or is about to head to the Roanoke bureau [from the New River Bureau, which produces Current for that area] to cover night cops. He will not be replaced [in NRV], so the bureau will go down another body. That would be two in less than three months. The staff was already at just under half its size of three years ago.

"That's part of a shuffling of deck chairs that--at least in one scenario--will include the end of the religion beat." [This is the beat Rob Johnson covered when he was shoved out the door. Rob was brought in several years ago from the Wall Street Journal to head the business department, but was demoted to reporter, then given the religion beat. He's done some work for us at FRONT of late. Good work, I'll add.]

Religion reporter "Tonia Moxley [who used to do business reporting for] is up for the Virginia Tech/Radford University beat--though she's been on the religion beat for only a short time and was assured the beat wouldn't be canceled beneath her if she left her Blacksburg beat to take it." [I saw Tonia downtown the other day and she was excited about covering religion and said she had some great ideas how she was going to do it.]

"One scenario would have Courtney Curtight leaving her Bedford/Botetourt County beat (I think for the K-12 beat -- isn't that the departing David Harrision's territory?)." One other scenario has the RT "adding a genuine, experienced journalist ... something they haven't done for a good long while." ["Genuine, experienced" journalists are expensive. Adding one won't hurt, since Beth Macy, a solid, experienced writer/reporter is leaving for a Harvard fellowship. She's expected to return. We'll see.]

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