Newsday’s Cocco May Become Contractual Rather Than Staff Columnist

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By: Dave Astor

As Newsday cuts jobs, at least one prominent employee might still work for the Long Island, N.Y., paper as a non-staffer.

“I am negotiating to continue to write my column for Newsday on a contractual basis,” said Marie Cocco, when reached today by E&P. The Washington-based Cocco, who’s also a member of the paper’s editorial board, added that she will continue to write her column for syndication without interruption.

“Whatever happens to Marie at Newsday, she will be syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group,” confirmed WPWG Editoral Director/General Manager Alan Shearer.

“I certainly want to continue to be a voice,” said Cocco. “I know I have loyal readers because I hear from them all the time.” The columnist — who entered syndication with WPWG in 2002 — appears in The Boston Globe, The Denver Post, The Oregonian of Portland, and about 20 other papers. Cocco usually offers a liberal perspective as she writes about politics, economic issues, women’s topics (“there are still too few of us doing that”), and other subjects in a column that relies heavily on reporting.

Before becoming a Newsday columnist about 10 years ago, Cocco worked as a local, state, and Washington reporter at the paper. She joined Newsday in 1980 after working for the now-defunct Daily Register in Shrewsbury, N.J.

When asked if she had any comment on losing her full-time status at Newsday, Cocco said the paper “has an extraordinary journalism tradition — and a fine group of people to have spent the last 24 years with.”

In today’s New York Post, Keith Kelly wrote about other prominent Newsday staffers who will definitely or possibly no longer be with the paper. One person being let go, according to Kelly’s piece, is Jim Toedtman — a Washington-based economics writer who was formerly managing editor of the now-defunct New York Newsday.

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