CityBeat is reporting that long time political reporter Howard Wilkinson is retiring from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett, the Enquirer parent company, has offered early retirement buyout packages to qualifying employees.
Wilkinson has been a bedrock of political reporting in Cincinnati as long as I have been in town. He's an excellent journalist and provided great reporting and analysis of political races over the years that will be impossible to replace, as will the other 18 possible buyout options pending in the newsroom.
This is yet another loss at the Enquirer that I don't see how the paper can recover. They are losing so much city political knowledge. One of the keys to a great reporter is to know the history of the subject they are covering. Wilkinson has that. At this point, no one has that at the Enquirer in the area of politics the way Howard does. This I believe is one reason that the political reporting ends up being nothing but giving crazy nut jobs a platform to spout anti-city issues. Wilkinson wasn't a sucker. He didn't give COAST or Smitherman and their ilk reams of free press. This is a massive loss for the Enquirer.
If will be a gain for someone. Howard needs to continue to write. He should blog. If he is staying in town, he is more than welcome to blog here at Cincinnati Blog. He certainly will have better spelling and grammar than I do.