Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Death of the Arts Section at the Enquirer?

This morning I got an unsigned email which describes the tearing apart of arts/media/culture criticism at the Enquirer. Here is the email in its entirety:
Yesterday, on the 19th floor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, a room of arts critics (including theater critic Jackie Demaline, classical music critic Janelle Gelfand, art critic Sara Pearce, entertainment reporter Jim Knippenberg media critic John Kiesewetter, former arts editor Pam Fisher and food critic Polly Campbell) along with features writers were told they will be pulled off arts beat to staff phones on the Saturday general assignment reporting desk.

Apparently, one body is as good as another in the new "Info Center" reich over at Third and Elm -- although it seems counterintuitive in Gannett's penny pinching culture to stick high priced talent (several old timers rumored to be at six figures) manning the phones on one of the worst news days of the week -- not exactly fiscally savvy.

Oddly, this news comes just days before Enquirer publisher Margaret Buchanan kicks off the citywide Fine Arts Fund drive Sunday as its chair.

Shortly after arriving in Cincinnati, Buchanan took a spot on the symphony board and launching a new Sunday Arts section, promising better arts coverage to a disgruntled arts community.

If today's Enquirer is any indication, looks like a snow job: less arts coverage, but complete sledding hill lists in Cincinnati and diagrams for making snowmen.
Please keep in mind this is one writer's opinion and I have no confirmation of anything in this email. For those on the inside there are enough details to determine if this is authentic. I find it very credible for the simple fact that the issue at hand is a detail on how the inner workings of the newspaper happens. This is clearly someone with knowledge of the Enquirer.

Printing this email is not a great journalistic act, but it is a reasonable act for a blogger. Is this just another sign that the Enquirer is abandoning content creation in favor of press release publications? Will this act affect the many blogs on the Enquirer?

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