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Board Update: Rough month

January 24, 2009

It’s been a rough month for your Capitolbeat board.

You may have seen on Romenesko that one of our founding members, Charles Ashby, the dean of the Colorado press corps, was told his job will be eliminated when the session ends in June.  Colorado Independent has the details.

James Pindell, national managing editor for Politicker, was also downsized two weeks ago when the company shuttered 15 of its 17 state sites.  More on that at Politico.

And Capitolbeat Treasurer Nancy Cook Lauer had to take a temporary non-journo job after her employer closed her bureau.  She sent this message to the list on 12/30:

Dear Capitolbeat members:

It is with some sadness that I must announce my temporary leave of absence from Capitolbeat and relinquishment of my office of treasurer on the Capitolbeat board. As most of you know, Stephens Media closed its Honolulu Capitol Bureau office and terminated my employment last month. I have accepted a session job as legislative analyst for four months starting Jan. 5 that makes me unqualified for Capitolbeat membership.

As a charter member of Capitolbeat, it pains me to take this step. But as many of you are also painfully aware, it’s a tough time for journalists right now.

I am continuing my news portal, , to help feed my journalism habit, and I hope to see you there. Feel free to email me directly after Jan. 5, when I will no longer be on this listserv.

A hui hou, by the way, is Hawaiian for “until we meet again.” This is not goodbye.

In the interim, your Secretary Alan Johnson has kindly agreed to assume the Treasurer’s job, because he doesn’t have enough to do in his spare time.  Seriously, we’re very grateful to Alan for being willing to take over the books till Nancy can get back into a bureau.

We’re also grateful that James and Charles are still willing and able to serve on the board, and we’re crossing our fingers that it stays that way.

I know a lot of folks out there are in the same boat as Charles, James and Nancy. We’re still here to serve you while we all wait for the industry to settle and, we hope, turn around.  In the meantime, thanks for riding it out with us.


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