After a week which saw Times-Picayune food critic Brett Anderson fired on Tuesday (confirmed by Gambit and reported on the T-P's own online site, NOLA.com), we now find it was all a big kooky culinary misunderstanding:
Earlier this week, it was reported that Anderson was to be laid off as part of the newspaper's reorganization into a digitally focused news organization. Anderson had previously announced his intention to accept a fellowship with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, beginning this fall.
Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss said the newspaper has always wanted Anderson to be part of its dining and food coverage and that when Anderson applied for the fellowship, the newspaper agreed to give him a leave of absence for its duration.
Perhaps they should have told Anderson that on Tuesday, when he confirmed to Gambit and other media outlets that he had been fired. Anderson has not yet decided whether to accept the paper's offer to stay.
This reversal came after a 24-hour period in which Anderson and Amoss were seen having a lunch meeting at Mandina's in Mid-City, and after restaurant columnist Susan Langenhennig had confirmed on Twitter she would be writing dining reviews for the paper after the transition to three-day-a-week publication this fall.
Langenhennig would seem to be the victim in this latest fiasco in The Times-Picayune firings. Earlier this week, longtime sports columnist Pete Finney learned from NOLA.com that he had been fired before he had been given the chance to meet with his supervisors. In a reversal similar to that of Anderson, Amoss later announced Finney's column would continue on a freelance basis, telling Judy Woodruff on PBS' NewsHour, "The sports columnist, for example, will be writing for us with the same frequency with which he writes for us now, albeit on a correspondent, freelance basis."
A spokesman for the Finney family disputes Amoss' account, saying the columnist has made no agreement with the new NOLA Media Group — because no financial offer has been tendered.
As management at the NOLA Media Group — the new company that will oversee NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune — continues to struggle to report the news of its own transition, more confusion arose tonight over the fate of the paper's award-winning dining coverage.
Despite the firing of longtime and well-respected restaurant critic Brett Anderson, editor Jim Amoss told The New York Times on Thursday, "[W]e will have substantial coverage of the New Orleans restaurant and food scene, with two full-time writers devoted exclusively to it. Our coverage will include restaurant reviews.”
That role would seem to have fallen to the paper's restaurant writer Susan Langenhennig, who took to Twitter on Thursday to say "No one can replace @BrettAndersonTP. I will do restaurant features/news at first and reviews eventually" and "It will be awhile before we start reviews."
Reached tonight by Gambit as to her role as restaurant reviewer/critic, Langenhennig refused comment, other than saying that though she may be providing restaurant reviews in the future, her title would not be that of "dining critic." Asked if she had signed the newspaper's offer of a new job with the NOLA Media Group, she had no comment.
Langenhennig has served in a variety of positions at the paper, most recently that of fashion editor. Several months ago, the role of restaurant columnist was added to her job. She joined the paper's freelance food and drinks writer, Todd A. Price (a former Gambit columnist), who, reached by phone tonight, expressed general support for Langenhennig, adding that the uncertainty regarding the transition has been "difficult, because Brett is my best friend at the paper."
The state of the paper's dining coverage is just one more wrinkle in the confusion that has ensued since word leaked out that The Times-Picayune, under the banner of the new NOLA Media Group, would be going to thrice-weekly publication this fall. That news — which first appeared in The New York Times, catching The Times-Picayune's employees by shock — has left many of them unsure about their roles in the new company, even after a day that saw 200 people fired and others offered letters of new employment that raised more questions than answers.
As to the question of the content, quality, or general makeup of the new enterprise's dining coverage, that has still not been addressed in the pages of The Times-Picayune, on the digital platform of NOLA.com, or with the readers and advertisers themselves — only with The New York Times.
Canal Street is the hub of public transportation in New Orleans. In fact, most of my Public Transit Tuesdays and non-Gambit bus excursions have me crossing Canal Street at some point. Also, if you're ever lost on a bus adventure, you'll be halfway home if you can find your way back to Canal Street. Sadly, this doesn't work for the RTA's demon seed, the Kenner Loop. The Canal streetcar demographic can't be explained, as it's full of tourists, locals, students, working people and the unemployed. That inexplicable demographic is one of the best parts of riding the Canal streetcar, as you never know who you'll meet. The only depressing thing about riding the Canal Streetcar is that it makes you long for the New Orleans that was...
What’s not clear is if The Times-Picayune will publish on the Mondays following the games.
At Thursday’s newsroom meeting, where editor Jim Amoss attempted to answer some questions about the transition, one person asked if the new schedule meant that there would be no Times-Picayune on the morning of Monday, February 4, the day after Super Bowl XLVII is played in the Superdome. Amoss did not have the answer, but said that the paper’s new schedule might allow for special editions.
Moreover, multiple sources within the paper’s sports department say that no word has come down to them as to whether they will be putting out a regular Monday print edition after Sunday Saints games. Sports editor Doug Tatum, who was included in the offsite meetings held last week where Advance Publications officials outlined the future of the company, has not returned Gambit’s call as of Saturday afternoon.
It was an impressive piece of pastry, but it didn't really look much like Ms. White. It did, however, look a lot like local actor Ricky Graham, who is starring in Shirley Valentine at Southern Rep. Consider:
Those offerings are at best weird and useless, but today's New Orleans offer borders exploitive: Groupon wants to you to pay $149 to be an extra in a locally made zombie movie. Instead of getting paid to be in a movie, which used to be how it worked, you can pay for the privilege of smearing fake blood all over your face and standing around for several hours.
When the National Review's John Derbyshire came to New Orleans in 2007 and wrote about the experience, I defended the city but didn't come down too hard on Derbyshire — one, because not everyone has to like the same things, and two, because the flat affect of his prose made me wonder whether he fell on the high-functioning side of the autism spectrum.
The following passage, for instance, came close to the top of the travelogue and seemed to go a long way toward explaining why he felt so uncomfortable in New Orleans:
From the tourist’s-eye view, New Orleans is a black city. The servicepeople at the airport, the hotel, concessions, stores, museums, and fast-food outlets are uniformly black. Most of the people you pass on the street, outside the tourist precincts, are black. I think this is the blackest American city I have been in.
God's speed, Rodrigue
A word to the wise. NEVER celebrate after you have been declared cancer free. You…
to "Clancy's Reckoning;" If you have any doubt about Gambit's judgement of character chew on…
George was a rare person who never said a bad thing about anyone and likewise…
From the Spin article: "While Hope Road legally has the trademark to the phrase in…
This stuff is not good, smoked it for a few months straight and I would…
Tempred to call CPS?
No case here. You can't copyright or trademark a song title.
The Marley estate was foolish not to trademark the phrase themselves. They have created a…
Double D, you don't make up the majority. It's just that local and state politicians…