Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Courant remakes the paper, removes Kamins
You've all seen the ominous Hartford Courant ads: 9/28/2008, they scream, like some promo for a post-apocalyptic horror film. It may not be so far off of an analogy. That's the day we all get to see the "re-made" Hartford Courant.
Today brings another kind of preview.
After many years of weekly columns previewing arts and cultural attractions and events in Middletown, Middlesex County, and in other nearby towns and venues, the Hartford Courant has relieved Richard Kamins of his duties as columnist.
His farewell column runs in today's print edition, but is strangely absent on the web version of the Courant.
Not only is it exactly the wrong move to make to keep local readers informed and involved while providing a sense of community, it's foolish from a financial standpoint. Believe me, what they paid Richard is meaningless in the rocky ecomomics of the Tribune's balance sheet. The value they received in return was huge. They are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and coupled with the current lackluster reporting on other town affairs, I suspect more than one subscription will be cancelled as a result.
As for Richard, he should be commended for doing a great service for the community, and for artists of all stripes for all these years that he's written the column. I read it faithfully each week, and having once written a similar column for another newspaper, I know the hours it takes to consolidate the information and present it in a way that's informative and interesting. Thanks, Richard.
Kamins, remains totally involved in the cultural scene in Middletown. He's got his radio show, and he's currently involved in a local production of Hamlet.
So, I suspect, it's not the last we've heard from Kamins.
After all, there are other ways to learn about what's going on in the community than reading a watered-down version of community news in the Courant.