WaPo redo: WTF?

I love Tony Kornheiser. I don’t know him, but I love him. I’ve been reading his work going back maybe 25 years, when he was a columnist for the Washington Post when it was a good newsPAPER. When he started Pardon the Interruption, I was able to put a face and a voice to the name and enjoyed him even more, especially when I discovered his eponymous radio show on iTunes. His sarcasm and wit… it was like looking in the mirror (though I am younger and have more hair).

Like certain kinds of food, he’s not to everyone’s taste. He can be very cranky and whiny, but I always admired his honesty; he calls ’em like he sees ’em. And lately he’s been calling out the Washington Post, his former employer who bought him out in what seems to my uneducated mind as a relatively bitter breakup. But I don’t think it’s a case of sour grapes when he and his goes off about the new design of the print edition, which he and his colleagues compare to The Wall Street Journal, and with good reason. Kornheiser educates his listeners with a primer on the newspaper biz and the necessary evil of balancing editorial content with advertising, which, after all is what generates the major revenue. The gang also opines that in a few years there won’t even be a print edition, that all attention is being paid to the on-line version.

You can hear the show via podcast on his website (which doesn’t really stink). It’s been one of the major topics on the show — ostensibly a sports program since it’s on the ESPN affiliate in DC — for the past few days.

Here are a few stories about the Post‘s redesign, from Journerdism.com, poynter.org, Editor & Publisher, and MediaBistro.com. The consensus is that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

Meanwhile, WaPo publisher Katharine Weymouth is advising calm in this letter to readers, which also includes a PDF guide to the redesign, which you can read here.

By the way, if any of my Facebook friends are friends of Mr. Tony’s, please pass along my admiration and good wishes and tell him I’d love to interview him some time.

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  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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