Monday, July 13, 2009

Print MSM to MoCo: Adios!

So you thought the print mainstream media (MSM) was undergoing changes? Wait until you read this!

Washington Post
MoCo political reporter Ann Marimow is on maternity leave. We hear that when she comes back, she will not cover MoCo anymore. Because she lives on Capitol Hill, she may receive a local D.C. beat. Her replacement will be Michael Laris, who has covered Virginia for the Post. MoCo schools reporter Daniel DeVise is now covering higher education and will be replaced by Prince George's schools reporter Nelson Hernandez. We do not know whether Hernandez will report on both counties or just on MoCo. The Post is reorganizing its specialty reporters to cover regional beats. Accordingly, we hear that investigative and land use reporter Miranda Spivack may be covering other counties in addition to MoCo. We are a big fan of Spivack's reporting and we would like to keep her focused on our county. We do not want to share her! In addition, the editor of the Post's Montgomery Extra section is leaving.

Ace local political reporter Janel Davis, one of our all-time favorites, is resigning. Fred Lewis, the Silver Spring editor, is also leaving. Lewis replaced long-time editor Jim Brocker a year ago, an event that helped to precipitate our epic Crisis at the Gazette series. In addition, commentary editor Georgia McDonald is retiring.

Turnover happens in the media just as it happens in other industries, but the extraordinary economic pressure on MSM businesses may be exacerbating it. Marimow and Davis have covered MoCo since 2006. Both have developed into very good reporters who know their way around the county. No matter how talented their successors may be, they will not be able to perform at their level for quite awhile. And remember, we have elections coming up next year.

We wish Ann Marimow and Janel Davis well. It's getting pretty lonely around here.