News Employees Lose Jobs at Roanoke Times

Belinda Harris

Two of the Roanoke Times announced firings this week are news employees. They are Tiffany Stevens, a young reporter, and Belinda Harris, the long-time librarian who, as I recall, was actually let go during an earlier purge, but brought back.

Belinda, who has always been immensely popular among the newsies, was at The Times when I was in the late 1970s, so she’s a valued veteran and a woman reporters have relied on for research over the years.

Two others among the seven people laid off, from what I’m told, are advertising employees Tyler Hardin and longtime employee Tammy Burdick. The other layoffs are also from advertising, according to my source, but I don’t know who they are. I’m told the position of retiring sports writer Randy King (who began at the paper as a high school kid when I worked there) will not be filled.

Randy King

According to The Times, the layoffs were “spurred by a decline in advertising revenue from national retailers.” Across BH’s dozens of newspapers (31 of them dailies, including a number in Virginia) there were 148 positions eliminated and another 101 cut. There was no explanation of what constituted a “cut” position vs. an “eliminated” position.

Online shopping is apparently crippling newspapers across the country, which comes as no surprise to anybody.

Tiffany Stevens

Company Chairman/CEO Terry Kroeger is quoted as saying, “The data suggest our industry is changing, not dying” and hinted that BH is confronting those issues. He emphasized that “our news content has never been more important than it is right now and we will continue to deliver news to our customers the way they choose to receive it.”

 

 

 

The owner of The Times is based in Omaha.

(Roanoke Times photos.)

4 thoughts on “News Employees Lose Jobs at Roanoke Times

  1. Didn’t the Times get rid of its library years ago? Or at least that vast and wonderful archive of its print papers? That was a sorry signal right there.

  2. Hey Dan – do you know how to get in touch with Tiffany Stevens? If so, give me a call or email me – I am interested in the racial issues effort she wrote about – the first meeting of it was last night and I want to see what happened. Of course, there was nothing I could find in the paper this morning…

  3. I am of the generation who likes to start the day with a good cup of coffee and a printed newspaper. I realize that subscription fees do not pay the bills, but have noticed that the quality of the RT has gone way down in recent years. When they switched printing processes, the paper got smaller,, both in dimensions and in content, and the pages are so thin that at times it’s difficult to get the pages apart. I could probably deal with those inconveniences if it weren’t for the typos and mistakes consistent in each day’s edition. Not a day goes by that there aren’t 5-6 errors that should have been caught by someone responsible for putting the paper out each day. Yet another rate increase went into effect in January. I am considering breaking that morning habit after more than 45 years.

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