We once had the pleasure of attending a preview at one of those smaller, out-of-the-way film industry screening rooms alongside Claudia Puig. As it turned out, the two of us were the only journalists in attendance, and we were quickly reminded of her relative importance by the fastidious and exclusive attention paid by the attending publicist.
This week, after 15 years on the USA Today beat and many more as a class act, Puig shared a heartfelt thanks and goodbye with her readers. She’s staying in the movie reviewer game, but backing out of the daily print and digital grind:
Friday marks my final film review for USA Today. I am excited to embark on new adventures. I will still regularly discuss movies on public radio (KPCC-FM) and video and will continue to watch, think, dream and, most of all, love movies. Even after seeing thousands of them. Especially after seeing thousands of them.
It’s not easy to leave the cherished colleagues and editors who sent me on this journey, some of whom also are departing this week. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for their encouragement as a lifelong fascination with movies became my calling. I am deeply appreciative of their expert pruning, revising and enhancing when I sorely needed it.
Puig tweeted that she is one of more than four dozen USA Today employees who chose to accept a buyout offer. Her exit precedes the departure next week from the LA Times of fellow female film critic Betsy Sharkey, who revealed recently via Facebook that she is leaving the paper to work on a book project.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
AP’s Christy Lemire Wraps Things Up with The Hangover Part III