Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Phoenix, Tucson | Aftermath of a paper's shutdown

Saturday’s shooting in Tucson was something of a marathon challenge for The Arizona Republic’s staff of 310. For starters, the Phoenix-based paper had no bureau in Tucson. From a Columbia Journalism Review Q&A with Editor Randy Lovely:

Q. That must have presented a challenge -- no bureau in the city.
A. We’ve had bureaus at the border but not in Tucson. Part of the problem is that until a couple of years ago Gannett owned The Tucson Citizen, so we always had a collaborative relationship with them. But we have worked very closely with the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, and as of Monday we set up a temporary bureau in their building so that we can keep staff down there for the foreseeable future.


  1. Randy Lovely is WRONG about never having a bureau reporter in Tucson.
    Border/immigration reporter Susan Carroll (now at the Houston Chronicle) was based in Tucson. Originally assigned to Nogales, Ariz., she and her editors agreed that it made more sense for her to be in Tucson because of freeway access, access to officials, etc. She moved to Tucson and stayed there until she left for Houston.
    Mr. Lovely needs to get his facts straight. Pretty appalling for the editor and VP/news not to know this.

  2. Why so hateful? That was long ago, far away.

  3. Not hateful at all.
    Just setting the facts straight.

  4. Via e-mail, I've received the following from Randy Lovely:

    5:41 is correct and I regret my mistake. Susan Carroll did an outstanding job during her time at The Republic, and I'm embarrassed by my oversight. I can only attribute it to sleep deprivation.

  5. What difference did it make to the coverage in AZ.? The Republic has done an outstanding job of covering the tragedy without the bureau. They mobilized a team and have not missed a beat. There is very little in Tucson that impacts Phoenix so why have a bureau there? If you could have seen the energy in the Phoenix surrounding the debut of the new KPNX studio and what that means for the future of news in Arizona you would feel bad about nit picking the fact that the AZ Republic no longer has a Tucson bureau.

  6. Wow. Another corporate spokesperson heard from. The Republic got its butt kicked in Tucson. The NYTimes, NPR, Fox all had interviews with the Pima Community College math professor who had problems with Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman. The Republic still hasn't talked to the retired Army Colonel who, after a bullet grazed his head, helped wrestle the gunman to the ground.

    The KPNX move is a feel good corporate event that validates executives feelings about themselves but does nothing to improve KPNX or the Republic.

  7. Nice to see Lovely is classy enough to respond. Not many Gannett folks are willing to do that these days.

  8. The unfortunate situation in Arizona is that Gannett has no vision, the industry is shrinking and most people seem more concerned with patronizing their boss than seeking a new course and taking chances. There are some wonderful people at the Republic, Crotchfelt got rid of many more and kept those who made her feel good. It's still amazing nobody's looked into her gender preferences for hiring and retaining. The Tucson changes as with many others are driven by economic conditions and by managers better suited for better times and just interested in keeping their jobs a bit longer.

  9. Keith Rosenblum also covered the border for AzRep while living in Tucson in the '90s. As a side note, I wonder if the AP still thinks it was a smart move to close their Tucson bureau just before the Citizen was shut down?


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