Steve Wright, Mercury News editorial page editor and vice president, has accepted a buyout offer and is leaving the paper, station KLIV-AM 1590 reported today. Wright also does commentaries at the San Jose radio station. Downsizing has hit all areas of the Merc including its editorial page, where the Perspective section on Sundays was eliminated last June.
The Merc has had several high-profile departures in the past two months. On Monday, Merc tech columnist Dean Takahashi left the paper to join a blogging company. On Feb. 5, Merc publisher Jeff Kiel was replaced after six months in that post by Mac Tully from the Kansas City Star. On Jan. 14, George Riggs, former publisher of the Merc and Contra Costa Times, stepped down as president of California Newspapers Partnership, the three-company group controlled by MediaNews that runs those two newspapers and many others. On Jan. 3, Merc executive editor Carole Leigh Hutton was replaced by David Butler, an executive with MediaNews. Last week, the Merc offered buyouts to its non-union employees as part of a downsizing move forced by a reduction in real estate advertising.