Elk Grove Citizen To Reduce Staff

Herburger Publications, Inc., owner of the Elk Grove Citizen, has announced staff reductions at the Citizen to adjust to the current economy...

Herburger Publications, Inc., owner of the Elk Grove Citizen, has announced staff reductions at the Citizen to adjust to the current economy.

The Elk Grove Citizen - like all newspapers and news organizations across the United States - is facing difficult times due to the poor economy.

In light of those challenges, the Citizen and HPI have made a variety of lay-offs in different areas of production over the past few months, including the loss of a news reporter at the Elk Grove Citizen.

The reporter - Bobby Wilson, hired in mid-December, 2008 - covered city government and politics.

Despite having to reduce staff at the Citizen, the management of HPI firmly believes in the value of reporting local city government news and coverage of the politics beat is still a high priority.

The city government and local politics beats will be jointly covered by the remaining Citizen staff writers - Cameron Macdonald and Katie Freeman, with supplemental reporting by writer Fran Soto from sister newspaper The River Valley Times.

The Citizen will also be joining forces on a more regular basis with sister newspapers The River Valley Times, based in Wilton, as well as the Galt Herald, to bring South Sacramento regional news to readers of each publication and also share resources and reporting on common issues.

Citizen Editor Jeff Forward said false rumors circulating in online forums theorizing about the reason for staffing changes were untrue.

"The publication of a story about John Danielson's pay had absolutely no bearing in any decision to reduce staffing levels at the Elk Grove Citizen," Forward said in a press release. "The management has been assessing staffing levels for several months; and when the need to make changes became more pressing, appropriate reductions were made."

"Despite these unfortunate, but necessary changes, the Citizen reporting team will still be doggedly covering the story of executive pay at the city of Elk Grove, the Cosumnes Community Services District, and the Elk Grove Unified School District," Forward added.

Press Release from Herburger Publications

EGN is saddened to hear that the mainstay of local journalism and reporting, The Citizen, is reducing staff. The task of keeping our elected officials accountable has just become more challenging.

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Anonymous said...

This is the Citizen Whimping out on upsetting city/csd people, who have/are making decisions that are contrary to the common people.

Jeff Forward said...

There is no "whimping out" on any pertinent news reporting. The Citizen is not immune from the woes troubling the entire newspaper industry.
This staff reduction came at a terrible time - I admit - however, there is nothing more to it than simply reducing staff to adjust to current economic climate like all news organizations are doing all over the United States.
There will be follow-up stories and coverage of the city executive pay issue, as well as executive pay at the CCSD and EGUSD. Prior to 2005, the Citizen was staffed at two full-time reporters. When we grew in late '04 and into 2005, we added a third reporter. It has been beneficial to the readers as we can report on more stories and issues. But, the times have changed and our management must respond like any business that wants to survive and if necessary, make staffing reductions based on economic situation facing us.

Anonymous said...

Sign of the times!

Anonymous said...

EGC Editor Jeff Forward's actions speak much louder than his miserably weak defense. The inevitable conclusion reached by many Citizen readers, when informed of the "layoff" of Bobby Wilson, was understandable and to be expected by our ostensibly perceptive Editor. Yet the "layoff" happened anyhow, lending credence to suspicions that Wilson left because of honesty and lack of diplomacy, two character traits in short supply at the Citizen. Reporter Wilson did some REAL reporting for the Citizen, not just another fluff article, and deserves better words than "This staff reduction came at a terrible time." I remain unconvinced by Forward, since, in case no one else has noticed, well established goals of Herberger publications are to cater to, cajole, promote and placate the "upper-crust" few who actually control and run this faltering city of Elk Grove. Wilson tramped on some elite, sensitive toes with this welcome article about how things really work in this city -- behind closed doors and without citizen input. Kudos to Wilson for the reminder; your frankness will be missed. Fortitudo Per Aspera

Robert Felts

Jeff Forward said...

Bob Felts comments are so stupid, I am tempted to not respond. However, I will.
Thi staff reduction had nothing to do with the Danielson story. PERIOD!
Next time you write and publish something so false, so untrue, and so uninformed, I suggest you take the high road and call me first.
Instead, you cower behind the internet and spread lies and falsehoods.
You are entitled to your opinion, even when it is uninformed, uneducated, and totally wrong.

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