Guild members reel from 17 buyouts, honor colleagues and look ahead

There is no way of spinning this positively.

Though we have known for at least a decade that tougher times were on the horizon — and that The Buffalo News has been comparatively lucky in this decimated industry — that foreknowledge has not blunted the pain and disappointment of this moment.

By mid-July, when the last of those targeted for a buyout walked out of the newsroom, 17 Guild members had left The News. The skills they took with them — decades of experience editing, headline-writing, reporting, designing and using their collective talent to tell the stories that mattered — leaves our institution greatly diminished.

The sudden departure of so many of valued colleagues leaves those of us who remain feeling numb. And it leaves our loyal readers wondering about its inevitable effect on the quality of the newspaper we put out every day and the website we update every minute.

Even so, our pride in our important work remains. We believe we continue to bring immense value to the community. Though our ranks are reduced, our passion and commitment to the job remains strong. And we hope our readers will stick with us as we work harder than ever to deliver the news and information our community needs and deserves.

As we press ahead into what promises to be an even more difficult period for The News and for the entire industry, we wanted to honor those who are no longer part of the Guild family. Their contributions to The News, and to Western New York, are impossible to quantify. Their work and presence will be sorely missed.

Scroll down to read their stories.