Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cuts shrink statehouse press corps

Fewer and fewer reporters are covering state government in California these days. Alvie Lindsay, the Sacramento editor of the Mercury News, has accepted a buyout from the MediaNews-owned paper. The Los Angeles Daily News, also owned by MediaNews, has closed its Sacramento bureau and reporter Harrison Sheppard is headed back to LA, according to Steve Maviglio's California Majority Report.

The Sacramento Bee says MediaNews, with 29 dailies in California, still has five people in its Capitol bureau: Steve Harmon and Steve Geissinger of the Bay Area News Group, East Bay (which publishes the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, among other papers) and Edwin Garcia, Mike Zapler and Kimberly Kindy of the Mercury News.

Lindsay told the SacBee that further cutbacks are expected. “It was always assumed that the staffing up here would be reduced beyond that,” he said. Lindsay said at least one, if not both, of the non-Mercury News positions in Sacramento was expected to be eliminated.

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