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Breaking: UT Budget Cuts Said to Result in Dismissal of Editorial Writer Don Sevrens, three Editors

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
posted by Greg Larkin

SD Rostra has confirmed from several credible sources that a small round of San Diego U-T budget cuts today included the dismissal of longtime editorial writer Don Sevrens.  A few other faces are said to have been removed as part of an ongoing reorganization, including Editors David Ogul, Catherine Snapp and Nancy Wyld.  Sources contacted at the U-T could not discuss the matter, while Sevrens could not be reached for comment.

The absence of Sevrens, who in recent years went from doing hard editorials in specific sub-regions of the county to trying to cover just about every corner of the region with the rest of the small ed staff, speaks to the continued sad decline of what was once a newspaper institution in San Diego.  It remains to be seen whether Sevrens will be replaced by a green, lowly-paid ed writer, or the non-existent slack will be sucked up by remaining writers such as William Osborne and Chris Reed.

The highly knowledgeable Sevrens could on occasion be obsessively opinionated about some issues, but more often than not gave a fair and thorough hearing in his research and writing, while covering a lot of ground. He in particular editorialized very fairly on the issue of pension reform.  His frustration in recent years with trying to do so much, and do it well, with so little time and resources, can only be imagined.

At Rostra, we can only hope that today’s move gives him some small sigh of relief from that frustration. But, when one loses a job, that probably means very little.

We wish Mr. Sevrens well.

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11 Responses to “Breaking: UT Budget Cuts Said to Result in Dismissal of Editorial Writer Don Sevrens, three Editors”

  1. Gack. I’m sorry for my peers, the U-T, and journalism in general.

  2. Jefferson says:

    I hope Sevrens finds a nice place in Florida. Far, far away. What a hack.
    ____

    From Admin: We were hesitant in approving this comment, given its nature, but have decided it speaks for itself.

  3. Within the hour, editor David Ogul confirmed his layoff. His post: “I feel like Sally Field after she won her Oscar. “You like me! You really like me!!” Or maybe Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life. Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. I guess I was one of the first to be told this morning, and I’ve heard that others were let go, too. My thoughts are with them.”

    While I have no independent confirmations on the other reported layoffs, I do know that today is Don Sevrens’ birthday. He in particular will be sorely missed. Until today, Don might have been the longest tenured newsroom employee still left at the Union-Tribune.

  4. One additional layoff confirmed: Robert York, the newspaper’s executive sports editor AND photo AND video editor. Yes, that’s one person in all three jobs.

  5. Jim Sills says:

    13 Retweets so far of this Post ! That must be a new SD Rostra record. Well done to Greg Larkin for the newsbeat.

  6. Rostra received full credit and a shout out on this story in today’s Morning Report from Voice of San Diego:
    http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/morning-report/article_c9e512d2-9760-11e0-a6d5-001cc4c002e0.html
    Thank you to Voice, and a tip of the old school reporter’s fedora to Greg Larkin for putting Rostra on the media map today.

  7. I wish they’d get rid of the so-called “Public Safety Reporters.”

    In my opinion, the UT’s dedicated lack of decent coverage in the largest court in the nation is helping get San Diego women killed. But then, what else is new.

    http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-san-diego/san-diego-s-mayoral-race-which-candidates-ignore-half-the-population

  8. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    This story originally had Nancy Wyld’s name misspelled. It has been corrected. Our apologies.

  9. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    Don Bauder at the Reader followed this post, last night…
    http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2011/jun/14/more-layoffs-at-union-tribune/

  10. Jim Sills says:

    Bonnie Russell:

    Can you elaborate, and explain further the intriguing point
    you briefly made about female victims of crime? Would
    like to learn more about that topic.

  11. Sure. Been asking UT reporters to investigate how the police and family court judges are getting people killed by keeping criminal cases in family court…for Years.

    Editorial response is generally: “Oh….I think we did something on family court about ten years ago” as if that was an Appropriate response for the largest, most used most often, and for the longest period of time, court in the nation. Why they think that’s appropriate mystifies me.

    Here’s just one example. The woman tried for years to get the police to act…but they refused until the parents of children from an intact family called for help.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYEizzLsdXg
    (He changed his plea to guilty after this aired.)

    The part of the chief’s press conference that Didn’t make the news. (1:11 in)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ormDTMFhPo8

    People from out of town are making youtube videos about San Diego.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi1fR59P0rQ

    I reported this to the City Council.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhOrh1_Oa3c

    I’ve also found fake therapists……rewarded instead of prosecuted.

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