Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Charles Ashby latest Statehouse press corps casualty

The Pueblo Chieftain's Charles Ashby on Tuesday became the latest Colorado Capitol reporter to be laid off.

Ashby was the de facto dean of the Statehouse press corps and a member of the Colorado Capitol Press Association Executive Board. He had covered Colorado politics and government for several years with the Chieftain and the Durango Herald.

He was laid off on Tuesday morning prior to President Barack Obama's inaugural address.

Ashby was better-sourced and was more well-known in state government than perhaps any other Statehouse reporter. He broke several major stories last year alone, including a explosive statement from Republican presidential nominee John McCain that he wanted to renegotiate the 1922 Colorado River Compact.

Ashby is only the latest Colorado political reporter to be laid off. Since the 2008 general election, reporters at the Colorado Independent and PolitickerCO.com have also been laid off. The Rocky Mountain News is also in danger of closing its doors altogether.

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