4 laid off at Voice of San Diego, including 3 journalists

The Daily Transcript | VoiceofSanDiego.org
CEO Scott Lewis and Editor Andrew Donohue write in a blog post that they lowered their budget from $1.2 million this year to $1 million next year, which forced them to lay off four people, including three journalists: education reporter Emily Alpert, photo editor Sam Hodgson and neighborhood reporter Adrian Florido.

“Today we had to say goodbye to 4 immensely talented and passionate individuals, including 3 journalists,” Donohue tweeted. Hodgson tells The Daily Transcript’s Claire Trageser, “I’m feeling good to leave there knowing they’re doing a good job and that I got to work for a long time at a place I really care about.”

Donohue and Lewis explain why they’re expecting less money next year:

There’s no one cause for the change. No major donor has dropped out. Our sponsorships are consistent and our membership is growing rapidly. But in the past, we’ve relied on grants from national foundations to make up a large part of our funding and we can’t be sure they’ll be there for us again. We’re in the process of building a thriving membership program to reduce our reliance on foundations, but we need time to fully establish a diverse donor base. Quite simply, like many of the agencies we cover and many families across San Diego, we have to be realistic about our prospects for the New Year. …

We’re not going to give you the hackneyed journalism line that we’ll “do more with less.” We are, however, taking this as an opportunity to go back to our roots and focus on impact. We’ll use all we’ve learned over the past seven years of VOSD to build a thriving and sustainable organization.

Related: CPI reduces staff to compensate for $2 million budget hole (Poynter.org)

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