After the announcement the phones began to ring; I got a call from a local TV station. They were going to be outside and wanted a reaction on the end of my column. Good Lord. Television cares? Of course, it doesn’t – but Strib cutbacks were a story, and as far as anyone knew I was the only public casualty thus far. I said I could only confirm the fact, and that was about all I had to add. Fine! So I went down, stood in front of the camera, and when the tape rolled I said:
“I regret that after 30 years of writing columns in this market, including ten with this newspaper that I love very much, this local conversation has come to an end. However, I believe that if the newspapers of the country pool their resources, we can send an Arnold-Schwartzenegger-style robot back in time to kill the inventor of the Internet, and then our future will be much brighter.”
The reporter looked at me and said “I’m sorry, I didn’t get the first part? Your column is cancelled?”
Memo to the Strib management: This isn’t hard. Ask James for 750 web words on M, W, F, Sunday, and reuse the best stuff in the paper. Hios beat: The Twin Cities. Make him take pictures. The reach of that column will astound you.
Or don’t you want the traffic?