John Smallwood, Sam Donnellon, Rick O'Brien Taking Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News Buyouts
The Crossing Broad news desk is receiving bits and pieces of information regarding the buyouts taking place at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
Sources tell us that Flyers writer Sam Donnellon is taking a buyout, along with longtime columnist John Smallwood and Pennsylvania high school writer Rick O’Brien.
Additionally, sports editors Deborah Woodall and Oscar Miller are leaving the company, along with Philadelphia Eagles beat writer Zach Berman, who will cover the Birds for a different outlet this season. Longtime Metro columnist Stu Bykofsky, as we mentioned this morning, was offered a spot on the sports desk but decided to take a buyout instead.
The Inquirer/Daily News is going through another round of restructuring and looking to trim its staff by 30 employees, offering voluntary separation before layoffs begin.
Interestingly enough, Jeff Blumenthal dropped a story Thursday evening at the Philadelphia Business Journal, reporting on the details of an eight-page memo sent to employees describing the challenges faced by ownership. The powers that be believe they have five years to right the ship and are setting a goal of generating “$95 million in digital revenue” to get things back on track. That seems very ambitious to me, but I hope they pull it off for the sake of the employees who do a lot of good work over there.
Donnellon was one of two Flyers writers working for the company, along with Sam Carchidi. He previously wrote for the Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other newspapers.
Smallwood did a bit of everything during his time in Philly, most recently shifting focus back to Villanova and local colleges. John began with the paper in 1994 and spent 20 years writing sports columns.
O’Brien’s beat was local high school football and basketball, so he handled stories involving St. Joe’s Prep, Imhotep, Archbishop Wood, etc. Stuff like that. His bio states that he joined the Inquirer in 1993.