Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Ever-Shrinking RT Newsroom, Part Deux (Or So)

One of my Roanoke Times insiders provided the following in commenting on the piece we ran here about a week ago on the changes within that institution's newsroom. It's much more dramatic than even I thought. Here's the accounting I got:

"In addition to the changes you site in your June 17 blog on the ever-dwindling Roanoke Times staff:
  • "Greg Esposito is leaving the New River Valley bureau/education beat to go to grad school;
  • "Stellar photographer Josh Meltzer, who was on a yearlong sabbatical will not be returning;
  • "Seth Gitner who headed up videography/online is leaving to teach in Syracuse, N.Y;
  • "Reporter Pete Dybdahl is leaving for Long Island.
  • "On the copy desk, Kelly Short, a lead designer since 2002, left June 19, and Alec Rooney, a veteran copy editor with 20 years' experience and about 3 years at the Times, has dropped back to part time."
Pete Dybdahl spent a little time working with us at The Blue Ridge Business Journal and I've always thought of him as a terribly underused and perhaps major talent (given the opportunity). He would have made a splendid local columnist, though I think Dan Casey is the best of that breed at the RT since Mike Ives was burning up the pool tables in the 1970s.

I saw Pete on City Market at lunch a bit ago and he said this "just seems like the right thing to do now." He'll be close to his mother and "my sweetie" (a lovely young woman who's occupied that special position for some time) has a good job. Pete says he might look for something in weekly newspapering. I hope he finds something he likes and something that uses his talent.

My colleague sees "a huge decline in the editing. Typos, grammar, bad [headlines], etc." I hear that often from people who are compulsive proof readers.


  1. I'm a compulsive proof reader and the RT has always been terrible. (I know. I said proof reader, not editor)

  2. Lisa: Proof reading is a drug, but a necessary drug. I don't do it well and have always had to rely on those with "the gift."