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Jesse Hamilton Says His Farewells

0 | February 27th, 2009 | Posted in Departures, Members
Hey, folks. Here it is, the last thing I’ll file to the Hartford Courant. I wanted to say a fast thank you to everybody. I loved working with you guys. I have no regrets about making the Courant my home for the last seven years. And even if this ends up being the end of my journalism career, it was a ride well worth taking.
Without the Courant and the other papers I worked for, my collection of life experiences — the good and the bad — would have been considerably lighter. Because of it, I know the taste of chai and goat meat beside the Euphrates River and of raw whale blubber fresh from a tribal whale hunt. I saw the new president’s face from the fifth row as he took his oath of office, and I’ve seen the insides of the worst prisons, where the most frightening are stored. I know the sound of mortar shells and roadside bombs detonating 30 feet away, of the halls of the Capitol late at night when almost everybody has gone home, of the croaking frogs in the hurricane floods of Florida. And I’ve certainly felt the comaraderie of the newsroom — something no corporation can take away.
Well, I know it’s disconcerting for the living to commune too much with those from the beyond, so I’ll just say, get back to work. There are a lot of readers out there still counting on you, including this one.
Take care. I’m pulling for you guys,
[email protected]

The Paz Equation Impossible To Solve

3 | February 27th, 2009 | Posted in Departures, Members
Okay, say you’re running a newspaper that has to cut expenses. (What newspaper doesn’t?)

Your newspaper is the largest in the state and pre-eminent in its coverage of state government and politics. (It used to be loved and respected for its deep and detailed coverage of local news, but those days are so over.)

You decide to reduce the staff and focus your remaining reporting power on state-level news. Take wire for international stuff, cut out the parachute missions to hot spots like, say, the Elian Gonzalez mess in Miami, or the war in Iraq, or Columbine.

Along with the rest of the nation, the state has just come out of an election of huge interest and now faces what will be one of the most difficult budget years in three decades. Readers throughout the state will be clamouring for political news and relying on the skill, experience and insight of your capitol bureau, which is now down to two or three distinguished reporters (depending on how you count), including Mark Pazniokas.

He has covered city and state politics for more than 20 years, on deadline, night and day, near and far, with style and grace and hardly a typo. Readers know and respect him. Politican’s fear and respect him. His co-workers love and respect him.

So naturally you lay him off.

This is the major disconnect Paz’s friends were trying to understand Thursday night at the Red Rock. There were some theories, of course, mainly having to do with who likes who. And there were some complaints that there was no plausible business principle articulated by the company that might explain the layoff choices… not just of Paz, but of everyone.

Aside from that, those who were able to show up (on admittedly short notice) were in fairly good spirits considering the circumstances. It was good to see veterans like Bob Frahm, Colin Poitras, Greg Seay, Karen Hunter and Dave Drury who made it a point to attend.

Frahm is doing a little education-related freelancing for the University of Connnecticutt and McGraw-Hill. Drury has been home caring for his wife, whose ankle was severely injured in a work-related car accident. Seay is the web editor at the Hartford Business Journal, where John Ferraro takes over as editor next week.

Ferraro was at Paz’s (and his own) send-off, as were fellow departing colleagues David Funkhouser and Beth Hamilton. Ferraro has the rare distinction of leaving for another job. Beth has, of course, some other important business to attend to soon, as you can see from the pix.

From right, Jon Lender, Mark Pazniokas, Ed Mahony and Ted Mann, politics writer for the New London Day.

John Ferraro, left, and David Funkhouser

Bob Frahm

Paz, right, confers with Matt Kauffman. Larry Smith in background.

Ed Mahony, Greg Seay, Larry Smitth

Columnist Helen Ubinas, Dave Altimari and Matt Kauffman

Columnist Rick Green and Colin Poitras, UConn publicist

Beth Hamilton talking to… (need help here.)

Alumni Contact List Updated

2 | February 26th, 2009 | Posted in Members
Folks… I have just updated the contact list on the Membership page, but am missing many newbies personal email addresses. Send them along and I will add them.

The updated file includes contact info from people like Fran Silverman, Norine Schiller, Kyrie O’Connor, and Jesse Hamilton.
(The list on the blog page, by the way, is not nearly as comprehensive.)
I will soon add another list of “friends of refugees,” and welcome addresses for that as well.

Say Farewell To Paz Tonight

0 | February 26th, 2009 | Posted in News
Mark Pazniokas will depart his phenomenal career at The Hartford Courant via a farewell party tonight at the Red Rock (formerly Kenney’s) beginning at around 5:30 p.m.

He more than deserves a good send off.

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Jesse Hamilton Says His Farewells
The Paz Equation Impossible To Solve
Alumni Contact List Updated
Say Farewell To Paz Tonight
Small Comfort For New Refugees
In Defense Of The Telephonic Layoff
Other Media Attention
Trying To Assimilate This
More On ‘The Mardi Gras Massacre’
Some Details On The Layoffs
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It’s Time To Retrain (Or Train)
Recent Comments
Larry Williams: Whoever initiated this decision, Cliff and Carver have to bear ultimate…
Pete Viles: Sad to hear the news about Paz, it makes no sense. (Paz: Hang in there, buddy) I was…
Jennifer Warner Cooper: This is just terrible. I was just about to try and email Beth Hamilton on…
45vinyljunkie: And you thought being laid off by telephone was bad. Keep reading. I heard one…
Barbara Kagan: Please know that there are many of us, in and out of the newspaper industry, that…
Carlos Cunha: I agree with Alfred R. I have proposed the idea several times in the past, as have…
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