More cutbacks at the IndyStar lead to loss of popular columnists

Tim Swarens

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — At least four journalists, including three well-respected columnists, have been laid off by the Indianapolis Star in another round of cost cuts made across the country Wednesday by newspaper owner Gannett Co.

News columnist and opinion editor Tim Swarens, writer and editor Amanda Kingsbury, financial columnist Peter “Pete the Planner” Dunn and business columnist Michael Hicks (who also teaches economics at Ball State University) all confirmed their departures from the Star on Twitter.

Star Executive Editor Ronnie Ramos declined to comment on the layoffs, telling the Indianapolis Business Journal he doesn’t discuss “personnel matters.”

Gannett officials also did not comment – but the The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a non-profit journalism think-tank, indicated that Gannett had slashed jobs and made budget cuts at its properties nationwide Wednesday in advance of what’s expected to be a sale of the newspaper group to a hedge fund.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for Poynter, said the cutbacks were “hardly surprising” given Gannett’s troubled financial condition and would have likely occurred even without a potential sale looming.

After learning that he was among those being cut by the IndyStar, Swarens tweeted: “I’m in shock. Not how I wanted 35-year journalism career to end.” Kingsbury tweeted to Swarens that “obviously I am feeling your pain as well.”

Meantime, Dunn offered a message to longtime readers by tweeting: “Budget cuts and whatnot. Six years, 315 columns, and lots of reader emails. Thanks for reading.” And in his tweet, Hicks thanked the Star for publishing his column “for many years.”

Poynter noted that these latest IndyStar cuts came just a few weeks after six longtime Star employees took early-retirement buyouts offered by Gannett.

The IndyStar is a newsgathering partner of CBS4, which is owned separately by Tribune Media.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.