Note April 16, 2008 

Ah, spring. When a young reporter's heart turns to thoughts of ... leaving.

Start at the Idaho Statesman, which continues to hemorrhage talent. Ken Dey, the business desk reporter who led that paper's coverage of Micron's financial troubles, has taken a post at St. Luke's Health System, and will work in that hospital's public relations department. Statesman editors might have seen this coming: Dey previously left the paper to work for the state Department of Commerce before returning to the paper last year.

Dey lamented the paper's inability to deploy resources to business coverage, something he didn't blame on local management.

"Reporters are unable to focus on what they want to," he said. The paper will be down to one business reporter, Joe Estrella.

The Idaho Business Review is now without reporters Lora Volkert and Eddie Kovsky, two writers who worked under John Foster, who was the managing editor there until he dove into politics. Publisher Rick Carpenter says he will replace the two.

The election-year bug has also bitten Dean Ferguson, the statehouse reporter for the Lewiston Tribune. Ferguson starts this week as the spokesman for Democrat Larry LaRocco, whose latest run is for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

Ferguson's exit is timely, given his paper's troubles. The Tribune reported last week that it and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News were cutting four positions in the face of weak advertising revenues and increases in the cost of materials. The Trib is saying adios to Tom Henderson, one of two editorial writers for the publication.

The business aspect of all this is news to precisely nobody. When the Seattle Times cut 200 positions recently, it was only the latest in an ugly season. The Statesman, despite making the almost-there list in the Pulitzer nominations, continues to struggle. Parent company McClatchy recently issued its latest lousy revenue report.

Maybe the cost of paper will go down now, with fewer reporters hauling around notepads. Right?

—Shea Andersen

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