Despite the excitement of the new TucsonCitizen.com, a sense of sadness still permeates.
That’s because more than 95 percent of the staff is gone.
A small handful are here for the transition, while Mark Evans and I were hired on for the new permanent positions.
I need my Renee Schafer-Horton fix. I long for Diane Luber’s smiling face (especially right before she asks if my obsessive eating story is done yet).
I miss my other dear pod mate, Mary Bustamante, although I will never miss her horribly annoying cell phone. The thing seemed to sense when she walked away from her desk and would loudly bleat like a dying sheep.
The list is long and I could wax on about those I miss, but I’ll stick to the three that sat around me in a grinning circle (OK, I’ll add Alan Fischer and Teya Vitu).
The last three months have not seen a lot of grinning. There were days we were crying or kicking things. Well, perhaps I was the only one who kicked things. And I contained myself to things in the parking lot.
In any event, we need to acknowledge the pain – and the guilt – but there is a way you, the readers, can help.
1. Make this site such a rousing success that we need zillions of journalists to help run it. That would get some jobs back.
2. Hire the Citizeners yourself. I would wholly recommend many of these folks. They are talented, sincere, caring and fun. They also know their stuff.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) if you wish to contact any one of them and I’ll get you in touch.
In the meantime, I’ll listen to the echoing acoustics in the sprawling, empty newsroom and stare at the debris left behind from Friday’s exodus.
I’ll also wonder why 95 percent of that junk ended up on my old desk.