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2 editors, publisher among news staff laid off from Ogden Standard-Examiner

2 editors, publisher among news staff laid off from Ogden Standard-Examiner

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OGDEN — Several members of the Standard-Examiner's news staff are being laid off, including top leadership.

Executive editor Greg Halling and managing editor Anne Christnovich both confirmed on Twitter that they were among those being laid off.

An employee at the newspaper who wished not to be named confirmed that publisher Brandon Erlacher was among those being laid off. Two reporters and a photographer are also losing their jobs, according to the employee and a former employee with knowledge of the situation.

Halling said on Twitter that there were also "three open newsroom positions that won't be filled." Those positions were recently vacated and include two reporter jobs, the sources told KSL.

Multiple calls to West Virginia-headquartered Ogden Newspapers, which recently purchased the Standard-Examiner, were not returned Friday, but the newspaper chain shared a response Saturday saying its leadership believes the changes will ultimately benefit the publication.

"(We are) committed to providing a strong community newspaper to the residents of greater Weber County, and to providing great coverage on the important issues affecting our community," said Michael Christman, regional publisher of the Ogden Newspapers of Utah, in a prepared statement.

"We are very confident with the direction we intend to take The Standard-Examiner — and that direction is focusing on how life is lived in this region. Our goal is to tell the story of Weber County and the surrounding area — from the successes of local high school sports teams to the pride we all feel when one of our neighbors does something inspirational to just how — and why — our local officials are spending tax dollars."

Ogden Newspapers, which previously had no relation to the city of Ogden despite its name, announced a little more than two weeks ago that it had purchased the Standard-Examiner. The newspaper chain also owns the Daily Herald, based in Provo.

On Twitter, Christnovich urged a reader who was angry with the layoffs not to boycott the newspaper, saying "this was a decision made *above* the publisher of the paper at the corporate level."

Halling also urged against the idea of a boycott, tweeting, "Let's not hurt those who remain."

"They're part of a newsroom we built together," he tweeted, "We need to make sure they survive this and do the best they can for a community that still needs journalism."

Christnovich said in another tweet that the Standard-Examiner is "a small, talented staff capable of mighty work. I'll sorely miss working with these incredible people."

Standard-Examiner environment reporter Leia Larsen said on Twitter 44 people worked in the newsroom when she began working there four years ago, but only 18 people work in that same space today.

"Journalism matters. Please subscribe to your local paper," Larsen tweeted.

Ben Lockhart

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