Monday, July 21, 2008

AJC: 1 down, 56 to go

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Longtime AJC reporter Bill Hendrick, 60, apparently is the first person in the newsroom to take the buyout offer announced last week by the paper. After I pestered him, he sent a note.

I can say this. I was told I was the first person from the news side to turn in my papers. I did so with great sadness, but with the feeling that I had no choice. I have no complaints, given the state of the industry, and understanding how business works. And I have no regrets. In my career I've been to every contintinent but Antartica and almost every state. It's circumstance that's turning the industry upside down. I'm sad, but not mad.

Hendrick's byline has appeared in the AJC over the last 29 years. A series he wrote in August 1987 foreshadowed the stock market crash in October of that year and won two national awards. Among other things he covered health, science and business.

The paper is cutting its newsroom staff by 85. Editor Julia Wallace says 28 of those positions were vacant, which means 57 people actually will leave the staff. Another 104 positions are slated to be eliminated in sales.

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