The Layoff Chronicles….again

When we first heard the Tucson Citizen was for sale and would be closed, it was a terrific shock to everyone in the newsroom. Then, when we got a reprieve and were told we STILL might be closing, but not for awhile, it was another shock, but then, for some of us, a relief: We still had stories we wanted to cover, things we wanted to look into, people we wanted to interview. We had work to do.

As the reprieve passed one, then two, then three weeks, many of us (those who just can’t seem to let go of journalism, to heck with the gloomy forecasts about the news biz) actually started feeling better. For us it was, “Hey, I still get to do the best job in the world! HOW COOL IS THAT?!”

But May 9 is Saturday, and that means Tucson Citizen employees should hear something tomorrow about a closure or a sale. Which meant that today, I spent my afternoon pulling three stories together: One with a lede that said we were sold… one with a lede that said we’d be closing Saturday … and another with a lede that no one can know about until or unless Door Number Three is opened.

And the thing I noticed writing the stories was that the pain in my upper back that appeared when the likely layoffs were announced returned the minute I started writing. It had been gone the past month or so, dissipated by the “my job is so cool” factor, but as stress filled the newsroom in anticipation of Friday’s news, it just swept over me. It was odd that it could return on such short notice.


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