Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

They’re the best

Citizen Staff Writer

Like a fistful of diamonds flung across the desert floor, the gems of the Tucson Citizen were all set to scatter.

Then Tuesday, two prospective buyers for our newspaper materialized unexpectedly, prompting Citizen owner Gannett Co. Inc. to put a stop to our expected Saturday closure – for now.

Instead of certain death, we’re poised to twist in the wind until sales negotiations and other high-level business decisions can be settled.

And while none of us wanted our beloved Citizen to die, the sudden switch is unsettling at best.

Those who already had other jobs lined up had hoped to collect their severance pay in addition to new salaries, putting them ahead of the game.

They were good to go – to install elevators or restore faded photographs, to process Social Security applications or publicize missile designs, to plot political strategies, to teach, to blog or to travel with camera in hand.

Now, who knows? The sudden shift is a surprise of shocking dimensions.

No last-minute buyers materialized for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which published its last edition Tuesday. Nor did a savior materialize for my friends at the Rocky Mountain News, which stopped publishing Feb. 26.

Yet our little Citizen has drawn the notice of two wannabe publishers – even though Gannett has said it plans to keep its half of the lucrative joint operating agreement with the Arizona Daily Star.

It would be as good as a Jimmy Stewart movie if a real buyer with deep pockets swept in and saved us all. None of us expects that, though.

Instead, the fates have simply pushed the pause button. Should someone decide to buy us and proceed with a skeleton crew, though, they’d have some hot hires on their hands, with extra talents to spare.

Dan Buckley is our videographer and Teya Vitu covers downtown. In real life, Dan writes operas for kicks and Teya travels the world to attend operas – and to see every Shakespeare play performed. Which he has.

Polly Higgins has worn many hats in features; in life she wears cool shoes, spoils beagles and stars in a rock band.

Eric Sagara covered plenty of beats, then took the initiative to become an expert on computer-assisted reporting – building complex databases, Web sites and more.

Sheryl Kornman has been shuffled from one duty to the next time and again. But with her Los Angeles Times experience and language acumen, she’s the one we turn to for Spanish translations, source names and numbers and more.

Behind the scenes, Rose-Mary Grzasko fixes our glitches and crafts clever headlines. Whether grinning or glowering, she never lets our standards slip.

Then there’s Mark Kimble, the distinguished panelist on “Arizona Illustrated” and the voice of reason on this paper.

Unbeknownst to most, Mark’s also a selfless soul, administering compassion throughout this community in volunteer work that very few people would take on willingly.

Plus he’s stood up for me for five years. He’s earned a nomination to sainthood.

Returning to Tucson from Denver after a quarter-century, I didn’t know I was coming to work for “The Little Engine That Could.” But the Citizen’s citizens could – and have. And throngs of loyal, cheering readers have been making it all worthwhile.

I suspect we at the Citizen “can’t” much longer, though. So thanks for the memories, kids. You’re the best. And what a shame that the best paper didn’t win.

After 30 years of true love, newspapers and Billie Stanton have filed for divorce. Reach Stanton in her next life at billiestanton@gmail.com.

Stanton: Tucson Citizen staffers are the best

This is a crew of industrious professionals the likes of whom I’d never seen before and don’t expect to see again.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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