Sam’s Question: I don’t at all understand how people can get laid off and then rehired. That seems to not jibe with the fact that a budget had to be slashed, etc. etc.
Editor Steve Smith: To Sam’s question, the rehiring is part of the “reduction in force” process outlined in our contract with the Spokane Editorial Society. We originally laid off 16 people from the newsroom. That triggered a two-week window in which other newsroom staff could voluntarily resign and claim the same severance package owed those laid off. We lost another seven or eight employees during that period which ended Nov. 16. With that window closed, we can now hire back at least some of the employees who lost their jobs. As said before, I have a budget goal that is based on a dollar target, not a body count. We’ll announce the new staff lineups and any rehires next week and I’ll post the information here and on my own blog. I don’t want to mislead anyone. We will not be able to hire back everyone who was let go. And, as I said, our level of coverage in Idaho will decline. I think we’ll be here for the big stuff and for good regional stories and what we call enterprise reporting. We will be a leser presence on regular day-to-day routine reporting.