Statesman Says Farewell to Longtime Staffers
The purge is on
This week the Austin American-Statesman announced that the incoming publisher – to succeed Susie Biehle, who's accepting a buyout from new owners GateHouse Media – will be Patrick Dorsey, currently regional vice president of the company's Coastal Publishing Group. In that job, Dorsey supervises the Statesman and more than a dozen newspapers in Florida and Alabama – roles said to continue after Biehle officially steps down on Nov. 30.
Last week, editor Debbie Hiott (also accepting a buyout) informed her staff of some other editorial colleagues who will be leaving, most at the end of this week. Of the 13 names on the list, many will be long familiar to Statesman readers: editorial writer and board member Alberta Phillips, transportation reporter Ben Wear, PolitiFact honcho Gardner Selby, fitness writer Pamela LeBlanc, sportswriter Kevin Lyttle, photographer Ralph Barrera, tech guru Omar Gallaga. The editorial side list also includes: Ed Allen, Karen Hinojosa, Emily Quigley, Pancho Gomez, Michael Adams, and Jake Harris.
Hiott wrote to staffers who remain, "You all have giant shoes to fill in some cases, but over and over I have seen the journalists of this newsroom rise to the occasion in the midst of change and turmoil."