The Daily Downsizer

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Seattle Times sports editor Cathy Henkel and longtime features and travel editor Terry Tazioli are among those taking the paper's latest buyout. Over at Crosscut.com, editor Chuck Taylor (a former Times and SW staffer/editor) also says he's confirmed that Kim Eckart, assistant metro editor, Michele Matassa Flores, features editor, and Cindy Zetts, real estate editor, are departing. In an update this a.m., Taylor adds these familiar names, long-timers Bill Dietrich, Pacific Northwest magazine writer; Peyton Whitely, metro reporter; and Craig Smith, sports reporter.

It's a sad march out the swinging front doors on John Street. In April, the Times announced it would reduce its operating budget by $15 million and workforce by 200 people. It's cutting another 150 staffers paperwide this go-round, almost a third from the once-vigorous newsroom, after its average weekday circulation declined 7.7 percent to about 199,000 - the first time under 200,000 for decades. The Sunday paper circulation also fell, 9.1 percent, to 382,000

The Times has been steadily downsizing in recent years (it lost a record $12 million in 2004), but budget hacking has now became the painful annual goal. As publisher Frank Blethen put it in December, "with the company at bare bones, these [planned new] cuts will hurt deeply going into 2008 and the remainder of the decade."

And this downsizer update: Former Seattle Times columnist Terry McDermott today won the prized 2008 AAAS Science Journalism Award for his series on "Chasing Memory," which ran in the Los Angeles Times. It was the last series he wrote for the paper—he was let go as part of the LAT's recent downsizing.

 
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