Another four defections from the Monarch of the Dailies were recorded in December, bringing the year's total of buyouts, leaves, and resignations to more than 40. (A running box score of Examiner departees is kept in-house by the usual gang of malcontents.) Pete Danko has left the Examiner's Foreign/National desk for HotWired; city editor Kandace Bender is relocating to New Jersey with her husband; and copy czar Lynn Forbes and highly respected editor Dan Brekke are going to trade publisher CMP, which owns Home PC among other titles, where they'll be working on an on-line guide to the Internet. (Brekke's departure is a three-month leave of absence.) … The drawdown of personnel at the Ex has left the paper so short-staffed that it is relying increasingly on “auxiliary editors,” part-time workers who ordinarily fill key positions on news and wire desks during vacations and holidays. … The Examiner soap opera continues in the executive wing: Assistant Managing Editor Kelly Frankeny and Executive Editor Phil Bronstein, who were the subject of last year's picket-line chant, “Phil and Kelly/Belly to belly,” are professionally estranged. A source at the Examiner says that an icy silence prevails between them at staff meetings.

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