On Wednesday the Tribune's editor, Gerould Kern, and associate managing editor for national news Joycelyn Winnecke dropped in on the Washington bureau and laid John Crewdson off. They also laid off national correspondents Bay Fang and Stephen Hedges, national security correspondent Aamer Madhani, and, I'm told, a fifth Washington staffer who worked part-time.
At the same time, I hear, eight Washington staffers from the Los Angeles Times lost their jobs too.
As Chicago's own Barack Obama prepares to move into the White House, Tribune journalistic talent is in increasingly short supply in Washington. Bureau chief Michael Tackett resigned last summer, and acting chief Naftali Bendavid quit the other day and is heading to the Wall Street Journal. Last week the Tribune Company appointed Cissy Baker vice president of a consolidated Washington bureau serving the Tribune, the LA Times, and the rest of the company's newspaper, broadcasting, and new media operations. Since 2003 she'd been a vice president of Tribune Broadcasting.