‘Tucson Citizen’ Staffers to Learn Their Fates This Afternoon

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Tucson Citizen and Gannett Co. executives are telling employees they will determine by the end of the day Friday who among the approximately 60 full-time employees will continue to have jobs after the paper publishes its final print edition Saturday.

?They?ve told us by the end of the day they will let people know who is laid off, who will be kept on a temporary basis to make the transition, and who will be kept on, long term,? reporter Renee Schafer Horton said by phone from the Citizen newsroom.

Horton was the reporter who headed up the Citizen?s coverage of its slow-motion death. Gannett announced in January that it would close the paper if it could not find a buyer by mid-March. It extended the closing because it said it was negotiating with a potential bidder for the assets of the paper — which would not include its 50% stake in the joint operating agreement with Lee Enterprise?s Arizona Daily Star.

Employees have been told they will get severance payments, Horton said.

In its announcement, Gannett said the Citizen will continue to publish online. In the newsroom, Gannett officials are saying that while details of the Web site have yet to be determined, it will not report on news, but will be ?opinion only,? added Horton. Managers say it will include unpaid citizen bloggers.

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