It was job prospects that pulled us away.
For me personally, none of those decisions were easy. The first to move to Yuma, leaving my friends and family for a town none of us really thought much of, then for Flagstaff, leaving Tammy behind, and then for Reno, moving out of Arizona and no longer just a relatively short drive from all those close to me.
All the time I was gone I kept an eye out for getting back to the Phoenix area, specifically trying to get back to the East Valley Tribune. I had spent time there as clerk and intern and liked the people very much.
There was a pipeline of sports staffers who had come from Yuma, as the two are owned by the same parent company, and it just seemed like a more natural jump than to the Republic.
There has been just one opening in the sports department there since I graduated. I was offered a part-time position (w/o benefits) while that full-time spot was frozen for something like 4-5 months, but with no guarantee I could move into the full-time spot when it opened up. This was in maybe late 2004 or early 2005.
Obviously, I decline, choosing to stay with the steady paycheck.
I was again approached about a copy desk position at the Trib just prior to accepting the Reno position, but after discussing it with Tammy (as she was working out of the paper's Gilbert bureau) decided Reno was where we were headed.
It is very obvious now that we made the right decision.
The Tribune announced Monday it is laying off 142 employees, roughly 40 percent of its staff, in January as part of a complete reorganization and cost-cutting move. Nine in the sports department are being let go, including all of the pro and ASU beat writers.
Judging by what positions were kept on, I believe Tammy would still have a job if we had not come to Reno.
This is sad not only for those involved, people I knew and liked as well as many others Tammy knew and liked, but for the industry as well.
The Trib's cuts, which come after much smaller others a few months prior, come on the heels of cuts at the L.A. Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Star-Ledger (N.J.), Baltimore Sun, three Bay-area papers. As I searched for these, the list went on and on.
It its something gripping the industry, which is being hit hard by the economy and has yet to nail down a model on how to make money off the newspaper Web sites. Even here in Reno, there have been buyouts and a few axes since we've been here.
Don't worry, I firmly believe both Tammy and I are safe. But it has us wondering about being in the same profession at the same employer, as a couple Tammy was friends with at the Trib dealt with.
Scary stuff, but all the while proving we have, to this point, made the right decisions in our career paths.