‘To Please Readers, Not Romenesko,’ ‘Inky’ TV Columnist Reassigned

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By: E&P Staff

Philadelphia Inquirer writer Gail Shister has been reassigned from the television column she wrote for years to do pop-culture feature writing, she told the sibling paper the Philadelphia Daily News.

The reassignment was “met with surprise and disapproval by many at that paper and at the Daily News,” according to Daily News columnist Dan Gross, who first reported the reassignment.

“We’re all part of a new world here, and I never thought I’d be immune, but I’m not ready to uncork the champagne yet,” Shister told Gross, in confirming the reassignment. “There are better ways to utilize my 25 years of contacts and reportorial skills than to limit me to pop-culture features.”

Gross reported that Shister was moved to the features department because it had become understaffed as a result of recent layoffs.

The column quoted Inquirer Features Editor Sandy Clark as saying the thrice-weekly TV column was “almost exclusively devoted to network news divisions, morning shows, and anchors,” and the paper “can’t afford a column so narrowly focused.”

Gross ended his column on the beat switch with this exchange:

“Asked if it was unwise to chip away at yet another area in which the Inqwaster (sic) had national standing, Clark said the paper’s goal is to ‘serve our readers, not to make Romenesko,’ a popular journalism blog found on Poynter.org.”

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