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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Oregon's jobless get a hand up

Exporting Our Oregon-ism Around the Globe

In the wake of plummeting ad revenue and drip-drip-drip circulation decline, the state's largest private employer is undertaking a continuing restructuring that includes firings and layoffs. This round, first to go from The Oregonian - a critic.

Last week, veteran architecture reporter Randy Gragg was axed by out-of-state billionaire owner Si Newhouse, in a move that had Steve Duin, Renee Mitchell and others racing to update their resumes.

Newhouse is legendary in publishing circles for his celebrated, dramatic firings, which were subjected to parody in the motion picture, "The Devil Wears Prada."

But as usual with Oregon, there's good news. Gragg has already hooked up with a new employer, and has asked the Newspaper Guild to drop its wrongful termination grievance against The Oregonian. His first major piece in the new job is a prestigious cover-piece that runs this weekend.

Fans and detractors alike should wish the outgoing reporters and editors of The Oregonian well as they make an imperfectly human effort to integrate into the competitive economy.

We urge them, like others previously purged, to share the Oregon Establishment's love affair with monopolies, public-private partnerships, and collectivism with an audience that hungers for politically-correct answers to the world's emerging challenges.

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