DENVER (CBS4) – There were some surprise layoffs at The Denver Post on Wednesday and two long-time popular columnists are out.

Management hasn’t said anything official, but Penny Parker and Mike Littwin say they are stunned to be out of a job. Both were brought over to the Post when the Rocky Mountain News shut down.

It used to be places like the Tattered Cover stocked stacks of newspapers in their stores, but not anymore. The industry is changing and that may be partially to blame for why Parker and Littwin are out of work.

“To wake up in the morning and not know what you’re going to do is so weird,” Parker said. “It’s awful. I don’t want it to end.”

Parker has shared with readers her private thoughts even as she went through treatments for breast cancer.

“I never thought I would connect to a group of people I didn’t know, like I did then,” Parker said.

Littwin liked to stir the pot, challenging people to think about everyday issues on a deeper level. His colleagues said he just lost his mother to a heart attack and is not ready to talk about his job loss.

mike littwin 2 Popular Columnists Among Surprise Layoffs At Denver Post

Mike Littwin (credit: CBS)

“I think it’s a shame. I read both of their columns,” a man said.

Readership is down in newspapers across the country and staffs are shrinking.

“I don’t read newspapers too much. If I do read newspapers it’s usually online newspapers,” another man said.

penny parker1 2 Popular Columnists Among Surprise Layoffs At Denver Post

Penny Parker (credit: CBS)

After nearly three decades in the newspaper business, Parker will try to put a career of words into one final, succinct column on Sunday.

“I am the luckiest human being on the planet. I feel that way, I really do,” Parker said.

Managers at the The Denver Post say they can’t comment about the columnists since it’s a personnel issue.

Comments (29)
  1. Spencer says:

    I am not totally surprised here. I read some of their work when I read the paper each day. This is a bad time for newspapers and things will get tighter as time goes on.

    I wish them luck and wish they were given some advance notice possibly. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes though.

  2. dONNA mOFFETTT says:


  3. Asodeska says:

    They are going to finally dump the Littwit. About time.
    Until the Post drops its arrogant ways, I can only wish them further economic difficulties.

    1. paul says:

      you are very hardhearted asodeska. I hope history judges you better than you judge denver post employees!

  4. K says:

    GOOD! adios, they were two of the most liberal bias reporters and part of the reason I stopped reading the Post all together. I hate the rag, but good riddons to these two.

  5. D Larson says:

    Mike Littwin’s column was always a good read and the one I never skipped. Disappointed in the Post’s decision – first we lost John Moore’s theatre critiques and now Mike’s viewpoint. Seems like there is less to read in the Post each year – lots of ads and news that I already heard on TV or read on Yahoo or At least the sports writers are still permitted to express some opposing opinions.

  6. mildmannered says:

    A vicious cycle: dump a bright spot in the paper (Littwin), less reason to read the paper, then dump something else, even less reason to read the paper.

  7. Geo. says:

    Mr. Littwin is one of the many reason’s I stopped reading the papers even before the New’s folded. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything in either daily as slanted, self righteous, and one sided, as what this gentleman spewed in his columns on a regular basis. I learned a long time ago, that to get to the truth you have to become your own reporter and dig through many sources to get an accurate take on many issues. Most newspapers have become nothing more than propaganda tools, that even when they try to be objective, misquote people, omit important facts, and are generally sloppy in their reportage.

    1. VinnieC says:

      In their “reportage”. Maybe they went to the same english class you plainly failed.

      1. shootmyownfood says:

        “Reportage” is a real word; even my spellchecker recognizes it. Perhaps you should read more.

    2. shootmyownfood says:

      It appears you confuse the idea of “opinion” and “reporting.” Anytime someone espouses an opinion, it isn’t factual and shouldn’t be read as such. It is simply an opinion that the news agency feels is valid. Keep in mind – opinions are neither right nor wrong, and you do not have to agree. However, it is always a good idea to know what the other side is thinking; it helps one to form one’s own opinions.

  8. paul says:

    asodeska’s e mail is a slam to the dignity of all denver post employees. It should be removed for lack of deceny.

  9. Laura Cheney says:

    It’s sad for some readers (and certainly for the impacted employees) — but it’s directly a sign of the times. Newspapers are going down in flames. My old boss writes — he was a chief editor at the San Francisco Examiner who moved into tech in the 90’s; he tracks the demise of newspapers. Another site is — the reality is that newspaper execs are afraid to make the necessary changes to meet the customer demands of the 21st century — and this simple fact will kill their companies. Soon. Newspapers cannot compete; and anyway, who likes to kill that many trees? (I have not purchased newsprint of any sort for over 5 years.)

  10. Asodeska says:

    What dignity?
    Neither the Denver Pest nor its employees, unless it is the ones working the printing presses, have any dignity.
    They have been passing out biased,inaccurate ‘news’ for so long, they have lost all the dignity they might ever have had.

    1. shootmyownfood says:

      Can you do better? It seems any articles written by you might have a bias as well, perhaps in a different direction.

  11. Emily says:

    Really sorry to see these two go. I much prefer local newspapers to have local writers. I can read Reuters and other wire stories online. This is an enormous mistake. I’ve really enjoyed MIke Littwin’s work in particular. Thanks to both of them for their years of work.

  12. Terry says:

    My husband and I never missed reading Mike’s columns. They were funny, insightful and brought a local view to politics, sports, whatever. Too bad the Post is keeping Mike Rosen – now that man is boring – always angry about something! Please keep Ed Quillen.

  13. rod says:

    I came across the final edition of the Rocky Mtn. News in my garage as i arrived home from work late this evening. When it ended it ended not only the oldest newspaper in Colorado, but, the oldest business in ColoradoWhen i glanced at it I sighed for a lost friend, like I sigh for my lost high school chum who commited suicide just 5 months ago. A lost friend, I shall never see again.

    The Post is a seond best friend. One who took over for the first. Granted, they have badly managed resources. Grossly changed what worked and was friendly, both in print and online. They continue to try to be someone they are not. If they went back to basics. Challenged the status quo, re-invented the entire scheme, while maintaining the original dignity, spark, presence, purpose, principle, of the age old successes, they too would succeed.

    There is still a generations of readers, daily, weekly, monthly, sundays who enjoy,,,nay demand the tactile, purposeful age old, freedom of the press, newspaper.

    The Post is forgetting how to deliver it.

  14. jose y maria y ancor baby says:

    Litwinn was the Ward Churchill of “journalists”? Good riddance to him and his constant Chris Matthews style man love of Obama.

  15. J.Q. Public says:

    Twittwin might look to MSNBC for employment. Tina Griego should be the next to go..her readers more than likely don`t read English anyway.

    1. shootmyownfood says:

      How nasty of you!

  16. marco says:

    I loved Penny and when I moved to Denver 11 years I was told of her importance and power. Sadly her colums and become trite and banal. As we watch all the entertainment television programs, we wish that the Post had a hip
    “on the town” personality instead of a tired column whos only purpose is to provide Press for Wnedy Aiello. About 5 yeats ago I witnessed someone resembling Penny doing cociane i the bathroom at Brix Bistro and upon her exit, she vomitted all over herself and the floor. She made every effort to black ball me for years as I was a well known restauranter. Subsequently she was diagnosed with cancer and I became a bigger vilain, Hope she enjoys retirement and goes on a diet.

  17. marco says:

    When I moved to Denver about 10 years ago, I was told of Penny’s importance. Sadly her columns just became trite and banal and primarily a resource for publicist Wendy Aiello. A
    As we watch all the cool entertainment shows on television, we hope the the post will follow suit wiith a younger hipper reporter who can cover cool events and fun gossip for a set under 60 years old. The is more to Denver than the fossilized Gabby Gourment and that sow Penny.
    Sadly she went after me some years ago and told everyone she was going to run me out of town because of something I witnessed her doing the Bathroom at Brix and subsequent puking all over the place. Things are looking of for the Post,
    Yes, I know about her cancer and I am happy she recovered, but she is still a fat, vicious B

  18. the_punnisher says:

    When JOURNALISTS ( an EPITHET in my meaning of the word ) dumps the 5 Ws & an H, it is no longer a REPORTER..The thing just creates an OPINION PIECE.

    That has been going on for some time now in print media. YOU have to do the legwork on getting the facts; have the Internet just makes to job easier.

    Since fact checking started, print media has lost out big time. Why pay for a rag that distorts and omits FACTS??

    That is the problem facing M$M today. You CANNOT fool the public anymore!

  19. keepitsimple says:

    Like most mainstream newspapers these days, the DP sneaks in a liberalized slant into what should be unbiased news reporting. In part, that’s why it’s losing readers leading to loss of advertising. As a retired newspaper editor I feel for Littwin and Parker. But the larger dailies dug their own graves. And Littwin and Parker forgot how to maintain perspective.

    1. shootmyownfood says:

      Opinion writers don’t have to maintain perspective. Opinion is not now, and never has been, based on clear facts.

  20. reality time says:

    About time Littwin went away. Maybe you could get a job in a socialist country writing…that’s where he belongs.

  21. Brad says:

    Peter Boyles ought to have a column

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