Is there a money problem for the Denver Broncos? A wave of staff cuts were announced at Dove Valley today unfortunately these cuts hit "close to home" for me and this site.
Andrew Mason, whose blog and feature writing as been a corner stone of DenverBroncos.com for the past several years was one of the casualties. This hits me hard because Andrew has been very gracious with me and this site.
I want to take a moment and wish Andrew well and thank him for the tremendous job he did with both the site and his blog over at the mothership. He will be missed....
The latest hint occurred Wednesday when budget cuts led the Broncos to dismiss eight employees not directly involved in football operations, including Paul Kirk, the Broncos' director of media relations and Andrew Mason, managing editor of DenverBroncos.com.
"It's a very, very difficult day when you have to eliminate jobs," said Joe Ellis, the Broncos" chief operating officer. "Especially when loyal, hardworking employees are involved. But our industry is like many others where downsizing and layoffs are required to make the business more effective."
The first hint the Broncos were cash-strapped this year was after three of coach Mike Shanahan's top assistants departed -- defensive head coach Jim Bates, offensive head coach Mike Heimerdinger and general manager Ted Sundquist -- and were replaced in-house.
Then there was Broncos' judicious spending both in the free-agent market and while re-signing their own players. And now the organization has been forced to cut people who worked behind-the-scenes.
Under Mason's leadership, the Broncos" website ranked among the league's top 10 in terms of number of hits. Kirk had worked in the Broncos" media relations department for 13 years.
"I've been proud to be part of such a fine organization," Kirk said. "I feel I've given everything I could during my time there. There are outstanding people there who are good friends and I wish them well."
In a memo issued to each department Wednesday, Ellis notified employees of the cutbacks with the message, "It is important to note these decisions come at the expense of personal pain to individuals whose jobs were eliminated for reasons of business efficiency -- not on the basis of performance."