The news about me (among others)

Well, as you can see, I am in the news today. In the morning you'll see a further message about me and about the editorial department from our president and publisher, Henry Haitz (I'll link when it's available). In case you
missed the news, here’s the short version: I’ll be leaving the newspaper after next
week, as my position has been eliminated in this company’s quest for deep
expense cuts.

I’m not sure what else to tell you, or how valuable such
commentary from me would be. As y’all know, I’ve tried to keep y’all in the
loop about the profound changes going on in this business, which have been accelerating
in recent days. I’ve written about everything from the departure of my longtime
friend and colleague Mike Fitts last year
, to the really horrific news sweeping
the industry
in recent weeks, with some newspapers going under entirely.

This has not a comfortable thing for me to do. For one thing
– I always wonder how much my readers will care. Someone I respected in college
– actually, he taught a course in editorial writing that I took – warned us
that when one talks about one’s own industry, one runs the risk of boring one’s
audience.

For another reason, I recognize my own lack of detachment in
writing about a subject that concerns me so directly. I’ve tried to be
completely candid, but I have to wonder how successful I’ve been. Finally,
there is such a delicate balance to strike between telling all that I know or
imagine I know, which is my instinct as a journalist, and respecting the
confidentiality of things I know only because I’m an officer of this company –
which gives me both an unfair advantage and a responsibility to those I work
with. It can be awkward.

Anyway, in spite of that, I’ve tried to keep y’all
up-to-date. Last week, however, I did NOT share with you the fact that my
colleague Denny Clements, the editorial page editor of the Myrtle Beach Sun
News, was losing his position. I just felt too close to it to address it
properly. I’ve known Denney since I was the news editor of the paper in
Wichita, and he was an editorial writer there. And while he and I have not been
personally close in the intervening years, I wasn’t comfortable getting into
that. Besides, it would have raised the natural question of what the
implications were for this newspaper, and I just didn’t know enough about that
to tell you anything, so I waited until now to mention it. Here’s how Denney
told his readers about it
.

Now, as you can see, Denney’s situation was VERY close to my
own. My last day is March 20.

I leave here with a deep love for this newspaper, which I
hope has been evident over the last couple of decades. It seems to have been
evident to Henry, by the kind and gracious things he had to say about my
service in his note on tomorrow’s page. And I appreciate that.

What will I do next? I don’t know. Perhaps I should post my
resume here, and see what happens.

I can tell you this much – I have zero intention of
“relocating.” When I came to the state of my birth in 1987 after years in this
business in Tennessee and Kansas, I did so with the intention of staying for
good. My days as a newspaper vagabond were over. Either things worked out at
The State, or I would find some other line of work. And the thing is, things
worked out very well. The day I was interviewed here (for the job of
governmental affair editor) I told Tom McLean that my ultimate goal was to become
editorial page editor. I believed that position offered the greatest
opportunity to serve my state, which I believed needed its largest newspaper
to have a strong, frank, lively editorial page. I got my chance 10 years later,
and I could not be more proud of the team I have had the privilege of working
with, or the excellent job they have done – and which those who remain will
continue to do, if I know them (and I do).

Obviously, this is a stressful time, but beneath it all is
something that I don’t quite know how to describe, a sort of anticipation
driven by curiosity. I wonder, with great interest, what will happen next.
(That sounds either terribly trite or unintelligible; I can’t tell which, but I
explained it as well as I could.)

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this today. Maybe
I’ll say more some other day. Oh, and if you wonder about the future of the
blog, or whether it has one – I don’t know. That’s one of a lot of things that
need to be figured out.

92 thoughts on “The news about me (among others)

  1. Bill C.

    Does Jake Knotts need a press secretary?
    I’m sad to hear Robert Arial was let go, but with his talent he’s probably already had offers.

    Reply
  2. Karen McLeod

    Hope you keep your blog. Brad, I’m really sorry to hear you’ve lost your job. Unfortunately, the State is becoming less and less interesting. It’s rapidly becoming not worth the money. At any rate, I can hope you’re online at least somewhere, so we can all continue to disagree with almost anything you say. Keep us posted.

    Reply
  3. ed williams

    I’m very sad to hear that Brad Warthen will no longer be writing for The State. I don’t know precisely what newspapers should be doing in this time of economic peril, but I do know that they do not get better by getting rid of their best people. Brad is a bright, talented, hard-working guy. I’m confident he’ll be all right. I’m not so confident about newspapers.

    Reply
  4. Curt Loftis

    Brad,
    There are many clichés that can be inserted here (“there is a silver lining in every dark cloud”, “it is for the best” etc., etc., etc.…) so I won’t waste the space. But suffice it to say you are deserving of my respect, and I wish you the best.
    Be well, enjoy yourself, and take some chances. At our age, we don’t have many opportunities left for acting on our dreams.
    God speed,
    Curt Loftis, Jr.

    Reply
  5. Tim

    Brad, this is incredibly bad news, not just for you, but for this entire state and community. I don’t contribute nearly enough to your “marketplace of ideas” because I’m too willing to fight the partisan wars. But your thoughtfulness about the issues and your ability to articulate sound reasoning on public policy issues is something that’s in short supply and will be greatly missed.
    Two suggestions: 1.) keep blogging – somehow there has to be a way to make a living at this without the backing of a newspaper; 2.) give serious consideration to running for office – put the Unparty in action and on the map.

    Reply
  6. notverybright

    I know I am one of the folks who offered up more criticism than praise over the years, but I’m sorry this has happened.
    I’ve often thought if my epitaph reads “He cared,” I would have done OK in this life. If this is the end of your newspaper days, I suggest that as a professional epitaph. It would seem to fit you.
    I’ll help you set up a WordPress blog. Who needs McClatchy?

    Reply
  7. Dan

    What a loss for The State’s loyal readers. My thoughts are with you Brad. Look forward to following your work during what I know will be an important next chapter.

    Reply
  8. Rich

    Brad,
    I am so sorry to hear it! :( You’ve been very tolerant of all the dissonant voices on this blog and I think you have your finger on the pulse of what makes S.C. work. You will be missed.
    What are your plans? Hope it’s something good!

    Reply
  9. Norm Ivey

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your job, Brad. I hope you find another position quickly. I’ve learned much from your writings, and I appreciate your Unparty approach to politics. I’ll be including you in my prayers. God Bless.

    Reply
  10. mark_g

    I don’t think the public realizes what an enormous loss the collapse of the newspaper industry means to our democracy.
    The slow, steady decline of The State newspaper is a terrible blow to us all, whether you agree with their editorials or not. If any group of people needs a watchdog, it’s the elected officials in Columbia. Who will keep tabs on them? Who will take them to task when they inevitably stray?
    I wasn’t in agreement with many editorials in The State, but I always considered it must-reading. And Brad was among the first to experiment with blogging, always open to criticism and opposing opinions.
    Thanks for all your good work Brad. I’m sure an exciting opportunity is waiting for you around the corner.

    Reply
  11. Mary Pat

    Brad, I gasped when I heard the news. You know I’ve always told you that you speak for me – things I think, you write. I just can’t believe it! You will be missed.

    Reply
  12. Groucho

    Columbia’s elected officials don’t inevitably stray — they periodically show up faithful.
    That usually happens around November.
    FITSNEWS will hold their feet to the fire.
    Even if that means FITS’ feets get hot, too.

    Reply
  13. Brian McCarty

    What is happening in the newspaper industry is what is happening in all industries. The finance people are making management decisions. The financial crunch is making more and more American businesses short sighted in their approach. Thus, divisions, plants, branches or papers that turn a profit are served with layoffs to help compensate for the non-performing parts of their larger corporation.
    It is the new style of American business. There was once a time if a paper in Texas lost money and The State made money, the paper in Texas would be shut down and The State would continue to operate as is. And while that model made America an economic power, it is no more.
    You, and the machinist in a profitable plant laid off, are dealing with the new age of American business, where simply making money for the company isn’t enough to keep your job. Now, American business puts emphasis on other priorities, such as financial gamesmanship, who has what degree and from where, and political considerations. Add to that the profound lack of loyalty in American business.
    Good luck to you and frankly, to all of us. Dave Thomas would not have stood a chance today’s world. Nor would Sam Walton.
    .

    Reply
  14. Herb Brasher

    Wow, I don’t know what to say. I feared this day would come, but I hoped it wouldn’t come so soon. Where are we going to get the thoughtful analysis that Brad and others have brought to this state? Even when we didn’t agree with Brad, we could count on him to look at challenges from all angles, instead of the knee-jerk and ideology-fed reactions that are so common.
    This is a sad day for South Carolina, and somehow a sad day for me. I feel like we’re losing a “prophetic voice,” someone who has challenged us all to think and act more clearly.
    All the best to you, Brad.
    It seems so trite to end that way, but I don’t know what else to say.

    Reply
  15. Randy E

    Hey Brad, I hope that you find your way soon. Perhaps you’ll find opportunities that were not previously visible. Professionally, I’ve always felt you were thoughtful and fair (except for the McCain stuff! – sorry, couldn’t help myself).
    I think this is a tremendous loss for the community and The State. The former loses out because the media holds public officials accountable. This transition to a reliance on Internet media is scary because any yahoo can post opinions guised as news. People will believe it because it’s in print. The State has tremendous credibility, despite what the naysayers believe. The State now becomes significantly less interesting.
    Will you write? Travel? Both? I’d be interested in hearing about your exploits. I wish you well and hope you find some solace at St. Peters.
    La Paz.

    Reply
  16. David

    I don’t know Brian. Seems to me that in the newspaper business, the financial people start making management decisions pretty much only after management people have made a l-o-n-g series of really poor decisions about content and bias in the paper.
    I do not enjoy seeing people lose their jobs, but it can hardly be argued that what is happening at The State is in any way a surprise.
    The people who have managed this newspaper and determined its slant and content over the last 15 years have insisted upon and arrogantly/obstinately set a course for the paper that has alienated its audience. The result has been a predictable and inexorable decline in readership followed naturally by a decline in ad revenue. Why would businesses advertise in a paper which is read by fewer people year upon year?
    There isn’t a problem with paper because financial people are making management decisions. Financial people are forced to make management because there are fundamental problems with the paper.
    Dave

    Reply
  17. Michael Rodgers

    Brad,
    I’m stunned, and you will be dearly missed, and I wish you all the best. Thank you for all your thoughtfulness, hard work, dedication, and kindness.
    Regards,
    Michael Rodgers

    Reply
  18. Phillip

    It’s very shocking to read this, and I am very very sorry and I wish you the very best. If this is what it has come to (and I don’t know for sure yet the others who have met the same fate but I fear for a few…) then it does indeed seem the State is basically shutting down some of its own vital organs, you might say, and the patient has little hope for recovery. Maybe I’ve lived too long, but I can’t imagine a city of Columbia’s size existing without a viable newspaper, one that you can hold in one hand while sipping your morning coffee with the other, or to read in bed on a Sunday morning. I ain’t bringin’ no damn Kindle to bed, that’s for sure.
    Very best wishes for the path ahead.

    Reply
  19. Peddler

    Brad,
    Of all the people who offered comments, the one person who did is someone on the other side I have the utmost respect for. He had one of the best blogs on the progressive side and when he stopped, he has been sorely missed.
    I have stayed away from posting under Peddler except for one other blog because of the tremendous respect I hold for “notverybright”. Between the two of you, a civility not often displayed will be lost if you decide not to continue.
    As a conservative, I appreciate the opportunity to engage in debate and the point/counterpoint of a good blog where all sides are represented. We all grow a little when we participate.
    Good luck and God Bless. I sincerely hope you remain a viable contributor on the blog.

    Reply
  20. Steve Gordy

    Brad, it’s always a shock when the bad news hits (it’s happened to me three times in my career), particularly in times like these. My best wishes to you and your family for success in finding a way out of this tangled mess of hurt, alarm, and worry.

    Reply
  21. bud

    Brad, I’ve disagreed with you more than I’ve agreed but I hope I’ve been fair when I disagree. But either way you have certainly been fair to your blog participants. This is certainly tough on you and I hope you can find a niche somewhere in the Columbia area to ply your trade. Wouldn’t it be ironic, after all your criticism of the medium, if you somehow used your extrodinary writing talents to turn a blog into a successful, money making venture?
    Anyway, I know that’s probably not on your mind right now. Best of luck and keep on posting if possible. I’d miss the blog far more than the newspaper.

    Reply
  22. Mike Cakora

    Brad:
    I wish you all the best and hope that you find other work very soon.
    Local newspapers are important even in this Internet age. It’s unfortunate that they’ve not found the mix of online and newsprint that allows them to serve the community profitably.
    Your time at the helm of The State’s editorial page was productive and something you and yours should be proud of. You led and fought in some serious battles that have left our state a little better off. Not many can say that, but you can.
    Take care…

    Reply
  23. Mat Rivers

    Brad,
    Your talents will indeed be missed, what a loss for us all.
    Thanks for the service to us all,
    Matt Rivers

    Reply
  24. tammy

    Wow, Brad. I’m so sorry to hear that. (And scared for SC). Will be hoping for the best and sending good vibes your way. Take care and keep us posted on what you’re up too. Hope you will keep working to make SC better even when you leave. tammy

    Reply
  25. excalibur21

    Brad,
    ENDEAVOUR TO PERSERVERE,,,
    You would be surprised how a 90 degree turn in life can open up other possibilities.

    Reply
  26. Paul DeMarco

    This is very bad, although not surprising news. I don’t know anything about newspaper economics but to a layperson it seems that the best new model would be for papers to go completely on-line (although we’d have to think of something else to call them than “papers”) and charge on-line subscribers. I suspect most current readers would be willing to pay to read The State on-line. The question would be could you grow an on-line readership large enough to be viable. I don’t know, but I suspect the day of printed newspapers is quickly coming to a close, so it seems the only option.
    Yes, much news is available for free on-line, but you can only search so many websites. The State website would be popular and worth paying for because it contains news that’s relevant to many South Carolinians and because it would be the only (or easiest) place to read your and Cindi’s and Warren’s columns and editorials.
    When you started your blog, I thought it meant The State was ahead of the curve and was making the transition to an all on-line format, but obviously that was not the case. Your editor has to know that this is the death-knell for The State as we know it. If they are willing to let you go, who is for many readers, the best and highest profile contributor at the paper, it’s hard to see how they can survive with their current business plan.
    All of this is to say that I’ll miss your voice. Your personal writing style (your column about the drunk USC co-ed who you and your wife picked up and brought back to her dorm on Halloween comes to mind), your fight against partisanship, your willingness to admit the flaws in your candidate or your own arguments are rare and necessary.
    I gave up commenting on the blog because I tired of the ranting which too often hijacked attempts at civil discourse and because of the unfathomable disrespect that the anonymity of a blog seems to inspire (see “Johannesdesilencio” above). But yours is the only blog I read with any regularity and the only one I’ve ever commented on.
    South Carolina’s discourse will be significantly the poorer without your pen. But I’m heartened to hear that you will not be leaving town. I hope you can find a way to keep the blog going or find some other outlet for your considerable talents.

    Reply
  27. blue bunny

    Brad-
    i’m sorry to hear the news, may your next venture will be rewarding both intellectually and financially. this is a very good blog and i hope you will find some way to continue it. thanks for all you have done.

    Reply
  28. Lou Holtz

    Please tell us that Ron Morris was canned, too. At least, then, we’d have something to feel good about.

    Reply
  29. Jim Hipp

    Brad,
    Stunned that the paper would silence one of it’s finest voices. While I haven’t always agreed with you, I’ve always respected your reasoning and honesty. Let us know what, if anything, you’ll be doing in the future. You have a large audience.
    Good luck – at least better than McLatchy’s,
    Jim Hipp

    Reply
  30. Tria

    With all due respect to Dave, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
    This mess at The State has nothing to do with the papers’ editorial slant or the way it’s been managed for the past 15 years. I haven’t agreed with much of either one, but in this case it is not The State that has caused this, but McClatchy.
    McClatchy made a lousy decision in 2006 to go into massive debt to buy Knight Ridder, a corporation which was destroyed from the ground up by greedy investors. McClatchy went into massive debt to do so, and now declining ad revenues ACROSS THE BOARD are forcing them as a corporation to make these deep cuts. It doesn’t matter whether papers are liberal, conservative or whatever….they are being gutted because of financial and business decisions, not the quality of journalism.
    Readership in this part of the country has not declined as precipitously as you might think. In this case, Brad and others are being made to suffer because of bad decision making that was done in the glass-windowed offices of corporate and financial poobahs miles away from South Carolina.
    Godspeed Brad, I have not agreed with you on everything in the past, but you did not deserve this and neither did the rest of your colleagues at The State. And please shrug off the arrogant comments of some people here. You have done your best.

    Reply
  31. Wadiak

    My personal history with this newspaper goes back to working as a delivery boy for it in the late 1960s and reading it nearly every morning for the last forty-plus years. After all that time, I can say that I’ve never been more disappointed in The State than I am in the direction it has taken in recent years (except perhaps when the family owners sold out to Knight-Ridder in the mid-eighties).
    I disagree with most of what Brad wrote, but, even so, he was the moderate of an obviously left-leaning editorial staff. Removing him removes even that iota of political balance.
    I began drafting my letter-to-the-editor announcing the upcoming cancellation of my home subscription several weeks ago. I started this after receiving the laughable letter announcing a rate increase…an increase in cost for a product that is steadily declining in quality.
    I had a grocery list of reasons for cancelling – too many to list here, but ranging from a left-leaning editorial board, to an attack-dog hack sportswriter, all the way down to a discombobulated comic page. I’ll add this event to the list when I finally get around to telling Haitz what he can do with his rate increase.
    I still subscribe, but I just got off the phone with The State, changing my deliveries from daily to weekend-only. When I finally convince my wife that she can live without the Sunday sales ads, I’ll cancel my subscription altogether. I’ve had enough.
    Brad, good luck to you.

    Reply
  32. Phillip

    Mr. Warthen,
    In a world of screamed opinions from both sides of the aisle, You have been an insightful, rational and thoughtful voice for South Carolina throughout your tenure as the Editorial Page Editor. I’m astonished that the paper would let go of what is arguably its best selling point. Balanced opinion is a rarity these days and the State newspaper will have a difficult time carrying on your good work. I hope they don’t go back to the shrill days that preceded you. Best of luck to you.
    An Aiken reader, fan, and fellow Roman Catholic

    Reply
  33. Ralph Hightower

    Brad,
    I hate to see you go. I wish you success in finding a new job. Even though I get a lot of news from the Internet, I get local and state news from The State and local TV. We need to know what is happening in the General Assembly. The opinion page is one of the first items I read. I think you have done an outstanding job as the editorial page editor.
    I have been through a few layoffs. The first was after 14 years with a company.
    On to the latest release from Bureau of Labor Statistics:
    We’re Number #2!

    1. Michigan 11.6%
    2. South Carolina 10.4%
    3. Rhode Island 10.3%
    4. California 10.1%

    Six hundred and seventy two days until Governot Mark Sanford is out of a job!

    Reply
  34. James D McCallister

    Best of luck, Brad, from your friends in 5 Points. Now you’ll have more time to hang out at Yesterday’s…

    Reply
  35. BK

    I am really sorry to hear this! I enjoy reading your blog and editorials even when I don’t agree with you – maybe even more so when I don’t agree as I find you thoughtful and reasoned without being condescending and haughty. When I agree, I feel like you’ve stated things just as I do and when I disagree I’m glad to have a chance to understand another opinion. Hope we’ll be able to continue to hear from you.

    Reply
  36. hemicuda

    Jeez sorry to hear it. I might not have agreed with you at times, but I always enjoyed your columns.
    So, McClatchy is making money, but not enough, huh? Greedy bastages. I could tell the end was coming when they dumped opinion pages, but kept sports, living, and other non-news stuff. Guess they don’t know the first syllable in newspaper is news.
    They got rid of Arial, too?
    Insane.
    Guess what, The State. You sent me a resubscription invoice that was 50% higher than I paid for my current subscription. Don’t count on seeing a check from me.

    Reply
  37. bud

    This paragraph from Mr. Haitz if very disturbing. To suggest one person can be in charge of the newsroom AND the editorial page at the same time, and, to also maintain independence stretches credibility to the point of utter absurdity.
    Mark E. Lett, our vice president and executive editor, will add the editorial and opinion pages to his news responsibilities, effective March 21. He has been a newspaperman for four decades, including 11 years as editor of The State’s award-winning newsroom. He also directed the newsroom and editorial pages of another newspaper before joining The State. Our opinion and commentary pages will continue to operate independently of the news department, and I am confident that they will continue to provide an essential and engaging forum.

    Reply
  38. Rebel

    I’ve never agreed with any position you’ve taken, but I hope you will continue blogging. We’ll follow you wherever you end up.

    Reply
  39. Greg Flowers

    Bud, I was thinking exactly the same thing. Editorial Page Editor seems to be a Very time consuming job and when you add it to responsibility for every other non-commercial piece of text in the paper it sounds daunting. Why not just make Cindi Scoppe “Senior Editorial Writer” and let her do the non-in-house editorial selection and chair the Editorial Board meetings? News and editorial strike me as very different functions. Lett may be super competent but this strikes me as the arrangement of a small town weekly.

    Reply
  40. Mab

    Mr. Rebel,
    Knowing you will follow him wherever he goes surely must be of comfort to Brad.
    I love your blog!
    It does strike a person immediately that your views would not be in sync with Brad’s.

    Reply
  41. Kathryn Fenner

    What is the world coming to?
    At any rate, what is The State coming to? What is the point any more–a bunch of reheated features from magazines I already subscribe to?
    I still cannot believe it.
    Brad, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, as are all the journalists who have lost their jobs or may yet do so.
    What is a democracy without a press?

    Reply
  42. Marsha P.

    This is a sad day. Soon The State will be every bit as pathetic as the Gannett owned Greenville News. No news at all- just a few Bi-Lo ads surrounded by sports pages. Sad indeed.
    Good luck to you, a real journalist.

    Reply
  43. Tria

    Bud —
    your point is very well taken. What’s most disturbing about his “double” duty now is that Mr. Lett can’t even run the newsroom (hence the dwindling of quality coverage several commenters have posted about). He’s one of the more ineffective editors in the whole corporation (if not the whole Southeast) and it’s ridiculous that he now will have sway over editorial content as well.
    Why they just don’t let Ms. Scoppe and Mr. Bolton take over the responsibilities is beyond me, but then again, so is most of what this corporation is doing.
    What, exactly, do they think will happen to their remaining revenues if they drive off all remaining readers who don’t want to pay for a bunch of coupons and recycled hash?
    I wonder if McClatchy has asked Mr. Lett to get rid of his house on Hilton Head Island.
    Again, Brad’s loss is all of our loss in this case.

    Reply
  44. Brian

    Brad we haven’t always agreed on everything, but this is truly sad. I know with your talent you will be able to find something else soon. You will be missed.

    Reply
  45. Doug Ross

    I am very sorry to see Brad go. Aside from the fact that we agree on very little in the world of politics, he is a decent human being who is devoted to his family and his church. That’s a good thing.
    As for the demise of The State, I suspect that the wounds are self-inflicted. At some point in recent years the leadership of the paper just seemed to stop caring about selling newspapers and being the voice of the public and instead just seemed to focus on one thing: profit margin.
    Count me as one of those who went from subscribing to the paper daily, to weekends only, and then cancelling my subscription completely a couple months ago. It was driven purely by the fact that the content in the paper wasn’t worth paying for any more.
    Can The State be saved? Doubtful. A newspaper has to be relevant. A newspaper has to be the voice of the subscribers. The State has been the mouthpiece of a failed education system. It has sided with government more often than not (ref: Lexington Medical Heart Center). The anti-Sanford bias totally misreads the public sentiment towards the state government.
    The epitaph for The State will read: “They didn’t know what him them”

    Reply
  46. Nancy

    I’m really going to miss you. I disagreed with you on a lot of things, but it made for some sprightly morning mutterings while I was reading the paper. Best of luck to you.
    Nancy McCarthy

    Reply
  47. Tom Davis

    McClatchy got Denney Clements, Editorial Editor at the Myrtle Beach Sun-News, too. His last day is early May.
    I wish someone with the right clout would talk Columbia’s Don Tomlin into buying The State and The Myrtle Beach Sun-News from McClatchy. Tomlin knows how to make money, he’d run profitable newspapers and I think if he’d add a “Back Page” section to Section A once a week and share his own opinions it would be pretty interesting.
    Team-up Darla Moore and Don Tomlin, offer them zero taxes on their news-properities … save these papers; McClatchy’s just driving ’em into the ground. Get ’em back into local hands.
    Come on, Don! You’ve got the ‘gita to do this! Craig Wall is dead, somebody’s got to fill those shoes when the state needs a visionary … which right now we do!
    Don, you made $200+ million off a Richmond, VA guy guy; another guy in a bowtie (you guys are pretty spiffy dressers, that’s always been true) … come on! – jump in here and save these institutions!
    I know ‘dang well you can figure out the ‘operations’ side of the problem and match it to revenues. Turn these puppies around and get ’em back on track. Don’t wait for the bankrupcy sale … we’ll just end up with another ‘absentee owner’.

    Reply
  48. Kir

    Never agreed with you on much of anything and probably never will but that being said, I wish the loss of a job on no one. So yes, your readers do care and realize that this could be any of us at any time.
    Best of luck to you and your family.

    Reply
  49. Kay Packett

    Dreadful. Dismal. Really, really bad.
    Unlike most of the posters here, I have always agreed with almost all of what you say. But even if I hadn’t, I would have appreciated the background, thought and insight that went into your opinions. I’d like to shake everybody involved until their teeth fall out — Haitz, Lett, most of all McClatchy and every accountant they own. If I hadn’t already done it when I moved out of the area, I’d cancel my subscription.
    Knight-Ridder and McClatchy should publish a book: How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Newspaper in a Relatively Short Amount of Time.
    Well, the good news is that you have no intention of relocating. I hope that doesn’t change. I’ll go with one of the earlier posters and say I hope you’ll either figure out a way to make the new media profitable, or put your brain to work in public office in the state you love.
    It has been a real pleasure to work with you (and I can name any number of news people I would not say that about).
    Keep us all posted.

    Reply
  50. Gordon Hirsch

    Brad – There is life after newspapers, and great opportunity for recovering journalists. You deserve credit for going down with the ship. Now bid McClatchy good riddance, so you can see them as the vultures they are.

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  51. Steve Benjamin

    Brad, you are an asset to this community and I hope that there are some ways to keep your voice as an active participant in this on going community debate. Losing you is our loss.
    God Speed
    Steve Benjamin

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  52. Susan Quinn

    Dear Brad,
    Please know that our community and our state have been enriched by your dedication, professionalism and hard work while you have been with The State. Hold onto that anticipation and curiosity of yours, and may it lead you to newer and more exciting opportunities to do good.
    May the force be with you!

    Reply
  53. Tim C in Iowa

    Brad, Keep on keepin’ on. Love what you do and do what you love. The editorial pages did what they were to supposed to do, spur open and honest debate of ideas. Your blog was my personal connection back to my home state. I will miss it. Where now will these important debates occur? What new outlet will be necessary to keep this most important component of democracy alive? Could this be your new direction?
    On a personal note, I’ve been fortunate to have come out the other side of downsizing twice. Both times due to the industry changing (not unlike your situation at all). New career paths have led to personal growth and profesional accomplishment that I could have never even imagined. It does get better.
    Thank you, Good luck and God bless.

    Reply
  54. Sultanosurf

    Of course it’s short-sighted since without knowledgeable content what will papers have left to sell? I emailed Henry Haitz months ago about my concerns at what the paper had become, but despite his impassioned response, The State just didn’t seem worth the subscription price anymore.
    It pretty much became less relevant about the time you lost Lee Bandy’s contributions, but the whole newspaper is becoming a shell.
    Rethink relocation. Change is good. There are other, better papers even here in SC, but certainly around the country. And the industry will survive this shakedown cruise, despite all the dire news in Denver, SF, and Seattle. People will still want that paper in hand, and whether we agree or not, at least you have a take. So maybe take that take someplace where it’s still in demand.
    James Hill
    “Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”
    –George Bernard Shaw

    Reply
  55. Travis Fields

    Brad,
    Though I’ve lived in California for most of the past 12 years,
    I was born and raised in Columbia, SC.
    And when I wanted to keep up with news from my hometown’s perspective, I went to thestate.com – where I only read 2 things: your editorial and Arial’s cartoon.
    Was the earlier commentator correct in stating that Arial has been let go as well?!If true, I find that astounding that The State would let go not just one, but both of its best employees. Perhaps you and Arial should create a competing web site.
    No need to buy a printing press….
    Best wishes,
    Travis Fields

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  56. Travis Fields

    A thought: The Wall Street Journal is hosting a conference
    on the Financial Crisis in DC – this weekend, I believe.
    The guest list includes people like George Soros.
    Perhaps you could get an invitation and report on it?
    Travis

    Reply
  57. dean

    NAH NAH NAH NAH, NAH NAH NAH NAH
    HEY HEY HEY
    GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!
    DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT, MORON. Go ask Thomas “I hate consumers, even though I live in a mansion and my wife builds malls” Friedman for a bailout.
    See YA

    Reply
  58. Bill

    As a man who has disagreed with you far, far more than ever agreed, I had to laugh when I saw the news in a paper my wife brought home from work.
    For a man who for many years advocated one and only one particular spectrum of society pay for the needs of another, to fall prey to a similar set of economic woes is not ironic, it is mere poetic justice.
    As I told you many years back in a heated email exchange, in response to your own righteously indignant cry, not one needs to be purchased. I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg and many more people and papers will fall by the wayside as dinosaurs. Misery loves company it is said and I suspect you will have much more company soon.

    Reply
  59. Al

    The thing I’ll miss most about you is your lack of honesty.
    I first noticed it with the “Power Failure” series back in the late eighties where you neglected to tell us what we all knew — that there could never be a “power failure” without the silent connivance of our state’s largest newspaper.
    Here’s an example of that quiet corruption:
    Readers eventually learned that sons of the paper’s publisher and executive editor were hired as interns for the president of the University of South Carolina and given full scholarships. This, of course, easily explained why no reporter ever asked President Holderman any embarrassing questions about how he ran things.
    It was up to a CAROLINA JOURNALISM STUDENT to unravel a story which resulted in the resignation and conviction of one of the state’s most powerful leaders.
    The State never uncovered any of this, and we all know why — somebody’s bread was being buttered.
    So, yes, Brad, you’re leaving The State. But even that’s a dishonest announcement because the fact is you were never really there.

    Reply
  60. jimbo

    Disagreed with you sometimes, agreed sometimes, but always appreciated your measured tone either way.
    I guess we won’t have Brad Warthen to kick around anymore.
    Johannes and Dean–you guys stay classy.

    Reply
  61. jimbo

    Disagreed with you sometimes, agreed sometimes, but always appreciated your measured tone either way.
    I guess we won’t have Brad Warthen to kick around anymore.
    Johannes and Dean–you guys stay classy.

    Reply
  62. Mab

    Silent Connivance. I like that.
    Connivance Happens!
    Would you really expect anything less during Brad’s tenure as the bully pulpit of Jakie Knotts, Bobby Harrell, Donnie Myers, and a few enterprising “bankers?”

    Reply
  63. edistoeddie

    If video killed the radio, then the web killed newspapers. Rather unwise to consider one of the most obvious proponents of a web-based editorial page in our state to be among the more than two dozen declared redundant. An observation is that newspapers are dying because there is such a small percentage of staff actually writing these days. Too few reporters and way too many managers. Too little news/opinion/ideas and way to much packaging. Best wishes Brad. You’ve earned our respect.

    Reply
  64. murraywood

    Brad, You will be missed. I would like to echo everyone’s thoughts that this is a great loss to the state of SC and Columbia. Best wishes!

    Reply
  65. Doug Ross

    We may have seen the tipping point last night in the way the media will work going forward as John Stewart eviscerated CNBC cable financial pimp Jim Cramer on The Daily Show. Stewart spoke for everyone whose 401K has been destroyed by people who create “wealth” out of thin air. He made the simple point that building wealth should be about work not about get rich quick schemes.
    Cramer was exposed as a greedy hack with his own words and video – explaining how he manipulated the market.
    Stewart did what the Wall Street Journal failed to do.

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  66. Doug Ross

    And it’s the same in the world of politics – a bunch of interconnected selfish hypocrites feeding off an ignorant electorate.

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  67. Brad Warthen

    Thanks for the all the kind words from so many wonderful people. Moments like this show how much goodness there is in the overwhelming majority of people.
    Of course, I tend to get particular enjoyment out of the oddest little things. Being a word guy, I smiled at edistoeddie’s use of “redundant.” I like Britishisms. I felt for a moment there that I was on “The Office” (the original BBC version), which would be a lot funnier than the current reality.
    Thanks again to all.

    Reply
  68. DougT

    Brad,
    This is indeed sad news. Your blog was the place I looked for the scoop.
    Good luck with your future endeavors.

    Reply
  69. Doug

    Brad, you went from being a VIP (Very Important Person) to being a VUP (Very Unemployed Person).
    Damn, that’s funny.
    I picture you sitting in a recliner in your living room muttering, “What the f— just happened to me?”
    Well, I’ll tell you what happened. Your company used you, wiped its butt with you and threw you away with less ceremony than somebody flushing toilet paper down the crapper.
    Maybe McClatchey will give you a previously-engraved watch from one of the pawn shops on our curretly decomposing Main Street, but I wouldn’t count on it. After all, they’re trying to save money, and you’re a net loss on the books — as we’ve just learned from their official communique.
    But I’ll miss you now that you’re cast-off human resources, like ten percent of South Carolina. We were second in the country yesterday and first today, so I laugh again to think that it was you that tipped our score.
    Your writing was truly awful
    For one thing, you never met a cliche you didn’t write. And your writing stayed fresh because it usually sounded as if it was written by a senior from one of South Carolina’s impaired high schools, e.g. with frequent asides that typically began with “but, hey . . . ”
    Kathleen Parker is a similarly lousy writer who manages to dump hackage like yours out of her butt on a national level, and, someday soon, she’ll likely be in the unemployment line with you.
    How many students have learned to write from reading your columns? Very damn few, I hope.
    Sorry for all the toilet references, but they seem to be ample metaphors in your case. And on’t let the stall door hit you on the way out of The State.

    Reply
  70. Phil

    Brad,
    I’ve got some yard work I need done around my house and some gutters on my roof that need cleaning. I also wouldn’t mind having my cars washed and waxed if you’ve got the time. Can you do pressure washing?
    Give me a call at 923-3700 when you’re available.

    Reply
  71. Phil

    Brad,
    I’ve some yard work that needs to be done around my house, mowing and what-not. Also, I’ve got some gutters on my roof that need to be cleaned out. I wouldn’t mind having my cars washed and waxed while you’re at it. Can you pressure wash?
    Give me call.
    Phil

    Reply
  72. Bobby

    I cried when I heard you were fired.
    As the tears rolled down my face, my wife asked, “Honey, what’s the matter?”
    I said, “Brad Warthen’s been fired.”
    My wife said, “Who was fried?”
    “Not ‘fried,’ you stupid fat dumb bitch. I said ‘fired.'”
    “Well, you got fired too, didn’t you honey? Why you so upset?”
    And I said, “Damn your thick-as-blubber hide, woman. Don’t you understand the tragedy when a non-partisan hero like Brad Warthen, who worshipped John McCain’s Navy as a kid and played with GI Joe’s in his backyard while dreaming of the dong on the kid next door loses his job? We’re talking about the kind of man who got out of going to Vietnam because of allergies he couldn’t hide from doctors who were determined to find them. They just laid off a hero at The State. I will never take another day of that paper.”
    “But I canceled our subscription two years ago, Bobby,” my wife said.
    “Well cancel it again. This time tell them we’re doing it because of Brad.”
    It was a Brad-worthy gesture, and I’m glad we did it.
    Semper fired, my friend. You saved Private Ryan with your columns, you one-man Band of Brothers. Maybe John McCain will offer you a job as Cindy’s driver.

    Reply
  73. Jackie

    Congratulations, Brad.
    Now you’ve got plenty of time to think about why The State always had a “Business” section but never had a labor section.

    Reply
  74. Mike's America

    Sorry to hear about your news. But you are a talented guy who is well grounded and I have no doubt you will find another professional pursuit that makes use of your talents.
    Best of luck.
    Just one question: Will you be continuing your blog elsewhere?

    Reply

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