With word spreading that the Tribune Washington, D.C., bureau is headed for some major cutbacks and consolidation, staffers there are concerned but not surprised that such changes are in the works.
Although Tribune offered no official word about the pending cutbacks, which are expected to hit the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times D.C. outlets the hardest, those in the bureau are bracing for the worst.
"I am concerned about the big picture and, close to home, what is happening to the Washington bureau," said Frank James, who has been in the Chicago Tribune D.C. office since 1995 and at the Tribune since 1989. "It is something we feared could happen and it is coming to pass in the place we work. Some of us will be out of a job and some of us will be losing colleagues."
James, one of the leaders of the popular Tribune D.C. blog, "The Swamp," commented after a memo from a Times staffer detailing discussions with Times D.C. Bureau Chief Doyle McManus spread across the Web. It predicted layoffs and consolidation. McManus responded online, acknowledging changes were likely, but claiming it was not as dire as some believe.