Gannett Pulls Plug On Tucson Citizen; 60 Employees Await Their Fate; Web Site To Become Opinion-Only

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FINAL ISSUE

The Tucson Citizen prints its final issue tomorrow, and staffers there will know by the end of the day whether they will get to keep their jobs on the Web side of things, whether they’ll stay on as transition employees, or whether they’ll get the ax.

News reporters and editors shouldn’t get their hopes up: parent company Gannett Co. will keep the site up but as opinion and entertainment only. No news or sports reporting will remain.

Gannett wanted to sell the troubled paper and said “there were no buyers. The Citizen, reporting on itself, found that the Santa Monica Media Company had offered “close to half a million dollars and were told that nothing less than $800,000 would be acceptable.”

Kate Marymont, vice president of news for Gannett said that the company will honor the Citizen’s severance agreement.

That Gannett is trying to reinvent TucsonCitizen.com as an opinion/entertainment-only Web site is..well, either ironic or depressing. Since everyone already thinks that everything on the Internet is just a big opinion echo chamber, why not do something subversive instead of helping to maintain the stereotype?