The News & Observer, like most newspapers, is struggling with the competition from the internet. No story there, but today the N&O announced it was reducing its workforce by 70 people, including 16 from the newsroom. Among those who are no longer with the N&O is food editor Amber Nimocks, who played a large part in dramatically improving the paper’s food and dining content. Along with Andrea Weigl, Greg Cox, and several free lance writers (including former editor Debbie Moose), the N&O had one of the country’s best food sections for a regional paper.
The parent of the N&O, The McClatchy Co., instigated the changes as a result of huge losses nationwide. The Charlotte Observer, another McClatchy company, will be even harder hit, losing 123 positions. The features departments of the two newspapers, which includes the food sections, will collaborate on future stories. So don’t be surprised if you see a Kathleen Purvis byline more frequently in the N&O, which is definitely not a bad thing.
All is not lost, however, and I expect the N&O to continue to put out great food stories. Andrea Weigl is remaining with the paper, and Nimocks will write free lance stories from time to time. Nimocks’ editorial presence will be missed, but let’s hope they’ll fill in the gaps. It’s a tough time for print media, so be sure to give the N&O your support if you want to continue seeing good local food writing.