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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sad News from Montana, and for the FOI World...

Longtime television journalist and open-government advocate Ian Marquand has been laid off by KPAX-TV.

"That's a hit to journalism in Montana, and nationwide, frankly," said David Cuillier, FOI chairman with the national Society of Professional Journalists. "He's been influential in opening up government nationwide."

Bob Hermes, general manager of KPAX, said the state of the economy led the station to drop Marquand's position as special projects coordinator. Marquand, who also was chairman of the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline, was laid off Friday.

Hermes said he did not anticipate other layoffs at KPAX.

Marquand said he has seen other veteran reporters lose their jobs to cost-cutting.

"I can't say it was a huge shock," he said. "But it was unexpected and I was not prepared for it on Friday."

On Monday, Marquand said he was seeking new opportunities in journalism or possibly in the academic world.

"I think I bring a certain group of skills that would be useful in a number of areas," Marquand said.

Marquand began his career at KPAX in 1978.

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