Crosscut, the digital news site owned by Cascade Public Media in Seattle, dismissed Managing Editor Florangela Davila last week.
Kelsey Tomascheski, a spokesperson for Cascade Public Media, confirmed that the organization “parted ways” with Davila because of “differences in the strategic outlook in the newsroom.”
The Aug. 5 dismissal came less than a week after employees of the news site voted unanimously to form a bargaining unit under NewsGuild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America. As managing editor, Davila was not part of the bargaining unit, Tomascheski said.
The Crosscut Union criticized the decision to dismiss Davila in a letter sent Monday to Cascade Public Media’s top managers and posted on social media.
“The timing is particularly alarming given that the newsroom voted to certify its union less than a week before Florangela’s firing and will soon begin contract negotiations,” the letter said.
Davila was the “glue that held our newsroom together” and she made deliberate efforts to create a newsroom “where journalists of color felt empowered, safe, and seen,” the letter said.
The union’s letter also noted that “a pattern of firings without warning played a key role in the newsroom’s decision to unionize.”
“We wish Florangela the best in her future endeavors,” Tomascheski said, but declined to comment further, citing personnel matters.