Chron Cuts: The Jeff Cohen Memo, More Names

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Here's Houston Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen's memo to the staff about Black Tuesday:

TO: Staff
FROM: Jeff Cohen
RE: Newsroom Reduction

The Chronicle employment cutback that Jack Sweeney has communicated to us began this morning. Each department in the newsroom is affected in one way or another.

This is a sad day. A newsroom is like family and saying good-bye to so many good journalists is painful. Along with you, they have built the Chronicle into one of the strongest regional newspapers and Web sites in the country.

The Chronicle is providing severance packages and the Human Resources department is offering as much guidance and outplacement help as possible.

These cuts are part of broader expense reductions necessary for us to remain competitive as we work through difficult times for both the national economy and the newspaper industry.

With the job eliminations, we are making a number of alterations to the way we cover the city and produce the newspaper and Web site:

-- Beginning Monday, the News, Business, Sports, Features and Opinion copy desks are merging into one production desk that will handle all of our daily, weekly, niche and special sections.

-- The Business and News assigning desks are merging into six reporting teams.

-- We'll combine many beats, reduce our daily photos and graphics assignments and we will make adjustments to the way we produce chron.com.

Editors and department managers will give you more detail at staff meetings this afternoon or tomorrow. We also will continue to communicate with various memos about a restructuring of the organization, assignment process and work flows of the newsroom.

Making so many changes at once is a challenge. Please be flexible and do whatever you can to help those around you. If you see a better way to do something, let me know.

One thing will not change: our mission as journalists to inform, educate and entertain the readers of our newspaper and Web site and to hold government and other powerful institutions accountable. We will continue our long-term strategy of focusing on:

-- Aggressive watchdog reporting;

-- Daily enterprise that readers cannot get anywhere else;

-- Being first to market with breaking news coverage online;

-- Explaining Houston's diverse communities;

-- Dominating coverage of the Houston's master narratives;

-- Community Web site development and the harvesting of as many components of Web 2.0 as possible.

We'll continue to do that with a remaining staff of talented journalists that numbers well more than all of our major local competitors combined. What's most important is our large and loyal audience of more than 1.3 million readers and users of our Web site daily (and 1.7 million on Sunday) who depend on us to help make their lives better. Many of them are facing the same hardships that we are going through now. Remember that they are who we work for.

In closing, I want to return to those leaving today and offer them thanks for their service and best wishes for the future.


And here are some more names:

(We're sticking with bylines that people will know for the most part.)

Bill Hensel, the Continental beat reporter
Marc Carreau, NASA reporter
Clay Robison, Austin bureau
Steve Jetton, a longtime editor (Apologies, mea maxima culpa, but at least he still has a job.)
Michael Murphy, UH athletics beat writer
MK Bower, Rice athletics beat writer
Brad Hem, technology reporter
Lynn Cook, oil reporter

Other names to come, unfortunately.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.