Back On The Horse

To all those who haven't gotten returned phone calls or emails from me this past week: I'm back and slowly getting back on the work horse.

I basically missed an interesting time for the Pulp, what with the biggest media story in South Florida of the year breaking Wednesday. But a couple of you posted Palm Beach Post publisher Doug Franklin's layoff memo here, so it took care of itself. The Franklin memo post was linked by Drudge and others prompting hordes of right-wingers to by and gloat about the fall of South Florida's version of the elite liberal press. Mixed in with all that, though, are some pretty interesting comments on journalism and the Post.

The weekend saw the death of Sun-Sentinel assistant city editor Bruce Kestin of cancer. I only met Kestin a time or two, but found him to be an old-school news guy who had the business of papers running through his veins. And had a good sense of humor about it, too. I didn't know until Saturday about one degree of separation I had with Bruce. Back in 1993 I tried to break into journalism in Florida while living on a friend's couch in Venice. The friend was Tom Spalding, who was working for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune at the time. Turns out his boss at the bureau was none other than Bruce. "I attribute my back pain and the chiropractic care I've needed solely to the stress that Bruce Kestin caused me as a journalist," Spalding, now with the Indianapolis Star, joked on Saturday. "He was a throwback, balls-to-the-wall journalist. When you were in the throes of a big breaking news event, there was nobody better to have around. He was a big sailor he would have us over to the house on the weekends. He put as much effort into making sure we had fun on the weekends as he did on making us work our ass off Monday through Friday."

In other journalism news, thought I'd post this column on the Miami Herald layoffs. Gary Fineout was very gracious to share with me his experience and I know the Herald is going to be a less paper without him, veteran of veterans Phil Long, and a lot of other folks that are being bought out.

Also, William Cooper Jr. of the Palm Beach Post followed my column on the corrupt Tiki grill at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina. Only took a month for the Post to publish its thinner and weaker take. Looks like change is going to come and the city's going to either get bidders for a new deal or at least make the current owner pay up. Proof that journalism still works, no matter how besieged it is right now.

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