As is the case with many of the shakeouts during the modern media's somber decline, the once powerful PD found limp reasons to, in effect, humiliate its victim. The paper's editor, Susan Goldberg, called him in and, according to Rosenberg, gave him three reasons for the demotion. She told him he was too tough on the orchestra, she wanted broader coverage of its work and finally, he had been in the job too long (not that any of his words ever creaked).
As a former music critic myself, I think it is more than unfair to accuse a gifted writer like Rosenberg of being too tough. Actually, he has long praised the orchestra, but has often been critical of the music director, Franz Welser-Most, who appears to have a contract in perpetuity at Severance Hall. I have found myself disagreeing with Rosenberg's reviews from time to time. So what! I never questioned his knowledge of his calling nor his sincerity.
Obviously under pressure from the managers and board members who preside over the orchestra, the PD's front office has been building an anti-Rosenberg case for some time. But eight years ago, he was the toast of the orchestra and concertgoers as he was presented to the public at a standing-room-only book signing as the author of the superb seminal history, The Cleveland Orchestra Story, Second to None.
He will be replaced by Zack Lewis, a young man (31 ) whom Rosenberg decribed as "a good man, and smart". You can find more about him with Google, including a videoed short of him rock-climbing.
In this final movement, there may be greater losers at the PD, but Rosenberg, wherever he will be stashed, is not among them. May we now stop boasting about press freedom in the trade journals?