Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Newspaper Arts Departures (Part 999)

Newspapers continue to lose the benefit of having experienced arts/entertainment reporters on staff. And readers interested in arts/entertainment continue to lose reasons to read newspapers.

Hey, newspaper publishers: See how that works?

Arts and features sections at the daily papers in my city -- and everywhere else -- are thinning out, if not disappearing entirely.

And now news of three more hits, two at a major northeast daily and one closer to home, at the Tampa Tribune.

First, my friend, down-the-street neighbor and former/(and soon-to-be current)* colleague Kurt Loft, the gifted classical music critic and science writer at the Tampa Tribune, is leaving the Trib after 27 years.

A safe bet: The paper won't replace him, and classical music in the Tampa Bay area will be hit ... hard. For more in Kurt's departure, see Wayne Garcia's column in Creative Loafing/Tampa. The Trib's last big arts/entertainment loss took place when longtime film critic Bob Ross lost his position at the paper.

Secondly, two film critics at the Washington Post are bidding adieu. One of them is the superb Pulitzer-winning writer Stephen Hunter. Hunter likely will stay busy, as he has a second, very busy career as a successful crime novelist. Hunter's collection of reviews of crime movies, Violent Screen, includes some of the finest writing on the subject.

For more information on Hunter and fellow longtime Post film critic Desson Thomson, check Salt Lake Tribune movie critic Sean Means' blog post, which includes a (sad) list of more than 30 film critics who have quit, been terminated or accepted buyouts in recent months.

*(yes, as Wayne points out, Kurt is leaving the Trib to work for the same great professional services firm that pays my salary)

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