Star lifestyle writer Jim Auchmutey will be leaving. So will star war correspondent Moni Basu — perhaps not surprising since the AJC's days of sending reporters abroad seems to be over. The paper also appears to be clearing house of its arts critics: visual arts critic Cathy Fox, theater critic Wendell Brock and classical music critic Pierre Ruhe, as well as Sonia Murray, who writes about the hip-hop scene.
But the buyouts haven't been the only news from Marietta Street in the past few days. On Friday, the newspaper eliminated its news art department — the folks who produced the graphics and illustrations that accompany articles — laying off the four remaining employees. Also receiving pink slips was the entire news research staff, which likewise included four or five people. Oddly, however, we understand that reporters have not yet been told they no longer have a research department.
But AJC staffers are most outraged by the surprise firing of newsroom assistant Mark Slockett, who had worked at the paper more than 30 years. I'm told Slockett had struggled over whether to take the buyout, but had ultimately decided against doing so because he was only a few months away from being eligible to receive full retirement benefits. I'm trying to verify this information, but I've already spoken to more than one newsroom employee angry over the apparent shoddy treatment of Slockett.
"This had always been a company that took care of its employees," one staffer told me who asked not to be named. "But this seems to be an indication that they don't care anymore."
Mid-morning today, Wallace sent a message to staff which began: "This will be a busy week, with new assignments and training." She went on to explain that the new organizational chart would be revealed to the rank and file on Tuesday, but that the 30 or so supervisors would get their marching orders today. Seeing as there are currently twice that many supervisors, it's a good bet that many of them will be reassigned to writing positions or made copy editors. Wallace concedes that some people are likely to be less than excited about their new job. "Not every move will be a perfect fit," she says, asking folks to keep an open mind.
OK, here's the full list of newsroom staffers who took the buyout. We've matched them with an inexact description of their current job in cases where we know it. Please let us know if any information is incorrect.
Rich Addicks — photographer
Nancy Albritton — city editor
Jim Auchmutey — news feature reporter
Kevin Austin — ajc.com editor
Moni Basu — news feature reporter
Wendell Brock — theater critic
Celine Bufkin — photo editor
Larry Conley — DeKalb bureau chief
Holly Crenshaw — obit writer
Michael Dabrowa — graphics
Lea Donosky — strategic manager, ajc.com
Kevin Duffy — business reporter
Joe Earle — editor
Sandy Eckstein — feature writer
Louis Favorite — photographer
Ron Feinberg — Sunday features editor
Cathy Fox — visual art critic
Phil Gast — digital
Steve Harvey — digital ajc.com
Robin Henry — digital
John Hollis — Southside reporter
Joey Ivansco — photographer
Drew Jubera — features reporter
Phil Kloer — features reporter
Mike Knobler — Thrashers reporter
Donna Lewis — news reporter
Derrick Mahone — news reporter
Andy Miller — healthcare reporter
Terence Moore — sports columnist
Sonia Murray — hip-hop reporter
Doug Nurse — North Fulton reporter
Thomas Oliver — business columnist
Michael Pearson — Gwinnett business reporter
Kay Powell — Cobb communities reporter
Frank Rizzo —
Holly Roseberry — ajc.com editor
Pierre Ruhe — arts critic
Paul Shea — metro news manager, ajc.com
Stacy Shelton — environmental reporter
David Simpson — DeKalb reporter
Ben Smith — news reporter
David Tulis — photo manager, ajc.com
Steve Valk — Sunday metro editor
Reagan Walker — Sunday editor
Gayle White — higher education reporter
(Photo by Joeff Davis)
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