Jul 24, 2023 - News

San Diego Union-Tribune staffers bid farewell

The San Diego Union-Tribune building in downtown San Diego.

The San Diego Union-Tribune offices. Photo: Sandy Huffaker via Getty Images

When word came earlier this month of the Union-Tribune's sale to Alden Global Capital, attention quickly turned to major staffing reductions at the region's paper of record.

  • Within days, those expectations became reality, as high-profile reporters started announcing they'd accepted buyouts.

Between the lines: The largest news operation in town is losing veteran reporters, editors and photographers. It's going to be a different paper.

  • Homelessness, the border, the environment, public safety and politics are among the beats losing expertise and experience.

What they're saying: Departing staffers bid farewell, while urging readers to continue supporting their colleagues who stay put.

  • Jeff Light, editor-in-chief and publisher, in an email to the newsroom: "The next chapter for the U-T, like the last one, will rest in the hands of many of the colleagues I now say goodbye to – wonderful people who are dedicated to truth-telling and community service."
  • Sam Hodgson, director of photography and video: "Thank you to everyone (at the U-T) who ever gave me a scrap of trust along the way, especially my teammates. What we built was a miracle. I'll forever be inspired by you."
  • Kate Morrissey, immigration and border reporter: "My dedication to the mission, to the work, has not changed. After much soul-searching, I decided it would be best for me to pursue that work through another (organization) ... Our newsroom has been a fierce local paper that punched above its weight through collaboration, teamwork and individuals going above and beyond to make quality journalism. I have no doubt that the people who remain will continue to do so."
  • Greg Moran, investigative reporter with over 30 years at the paper: "Support this outstanding journo right here and her colleagues," he wrote, of Lyndsay Winkley. "They are still doing the work that matters so much."
  • Dana Littlefield, public safety editor: "No matter what happens next week, this girl really hung in there. To my U-T colleagues, I appreciate you more than you know. Always will."

Flashback: These reductions come at the expense of a newsroom that's already been scaled back in the previous 15 years after previous sales in 2015 and 2008.

What we're watching: More buyouts and layoffs are unfortunately expected to continue in the weeks to come.


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