Like many newspapers, the ax fell hard last year at The Californian, the Gannett-owned 14,240-circulation daily in Salinas. In December, the paper eliminated 40 jobs. And Gannett has instituted week-long unpaid furloughs at all of its papers and TV stations to cut costs.

Given that, this upbeat item in today’s Californian caught our eye:

    The Californian hires three new reporters; some will cover new beats

    Three more reporters have joined the staff here at The Salinas Californian. The fact that we’re hiring says a great deal about our company’s commitment to this community. Faithful readers of this newspaper and its Web site,, should see a discernable difference over the next few weeks because we have a full complement of reporters on the street — reporters with experience, open minds and fresh perspectives.

Among the new hires is Leslie Griffy, who previously covered courts and breaking news for the Mercury News.

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