Bay Guardian Newsroom Hit with Layoffs
Veteran reporter Sarah Phelan was last night shown the door along with several others in a round of layoffs at the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Luke Thomas Sarah Phelan, seen here with husband Khalil Abu-Saba, has been abruptly let go by the Guardian in a purported cost-cutting move.
Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond refused to discuss "personnel matters," declining to disclose the names of those let go or even the number of workers cut loose. But calls to the paper for Phelan were answered with a reply of "She's not here anymore; there've been some layoffs."
SF Weekly has heard that three or more other editorial employees have been let go.
"Like a lot of newspapers and media companies, we've had to do some cutbacks," Redmond confirmed. "We're facing challenges and have to make sure our revenue and expenses are in line. We're looking forward to a future with, you know, changes in the publishing model. We're looking to make sure our future is secure."
The Guardian recently accepted a hefty out-of-court settlement from SF Weekly. When asked about the apparent disconnect of sacking experienced editorial employees after accepting a check with many zeros on it, Redmond declined to comment. "I cannot comment on anything having to do with any settlement," he says. "All I can say is the two parties settled on terms acceptable to both sides."
Redmond noted that his conspicuous no-show at last week's Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) conference in New Orleans -- where he was slated to host at least one panel -- was tied to the forthcoming newsroom reduction.
"I decided that for me to go to New Orleans for a convention at a time of tight budgets was not a wise use of resources." Redmond gave up his chair on AAN's board after not attending. He said his term was expiring anyway, and "I never intended to be First Amendment chair for life."
SF Weekly will update this article as it learns the names and numbers of those let go last night.
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