Elaine Guregian, the Beacon Journal's longtime music critic, is departing for a job as the Cleveland Orchestra's communications manager. She is the latest to join the mass exodus from the paper, and one who will be missed by the area's music community, leaving the locals to wonder who - if anybody - will take up the slack in coverage. The list doubtless will grow larger as Canadian owner David Black continues to run the staff through his wringer. With some of the most experienced people pulling out it is fair to ask at what point does his newspaper still deserve to be called a newspaper. I have asked before: What would be the public reaction if the Cleveland Indians dressed only seven players to take the field because the owners could not afford nine?
More from the media: The Columbus Dispatch has informed the Associated Press that it will cancel its contract with the big wire service in January 2011. The reason: economics. Ben Morrison, the Dispatch's editor, wrote in his column: :
"The changes to AP's rate structure were not as substantial as we were led to believe or that we need to maintain our service. Given the choice of maintaining our staff or AP's service, it's in the best interests of our operation to maintain our local reporting staff."
That's pretty alarming stuff for the industry, considering that the Dispatch was the overwhelming conservative Republican editorial voice in a broad area of Central Ohio. One prerogative, however, hasn't been affected by current economics: It played by its age-old rules and endorsed John McCain.