When the final obituaries of big-city newspapers are written (and they’ll be written online), their history could well mark today as one of the signal events in the buggy-whip-ization of newsprint. From today’s Bleat:
[T]hey’ve killed my column, and assigned me to write straight local news stories.
It probably won’t do James much good with his bosses for me to point this out, but how dumb do you have to be to spike Lileks? You’re talking about the best-connected and very likely best-read online columnist in America, and what do the geniuses at the Star-Tribune do? They demote him and strip the paper of his signature in-print work.
Ideological payback? Maybe. Dinosaur thinking? Obviously. Stupid? Without question.
If the Strib had any institutional sense whatsoever, they’d make James the poobah-in-chief of their online division, and turn him loose. They’d have the best online paper in the country in less than a month. What they’re doing now is an idiotic waste of talent.
Attention, newspaper publishers with a brain: here’s a guy who can bring in a hundred thousand new pairs of eyeballs in the blink of an, er, eye. You say you’re losing money to the web? Well, he knows more about the online world and how to communicate on it than anybody on your staff.
Don’t be as dumb as the Strib. Hire him away before somebody else beats you to the punch.
UPDATE: Tons of reaction in the blogosphere today, as one might imagine. Lots of it is linked at Hugh Hewitt’s site; Hewitt is off on what he calls “a three-hour rant” on his radio show even as I type.