When I began at TVNewser almost five years ago, I would scour local newspaper websites for what the TV columinsts were writing about: Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post, Joanne Ostrow at the Denver Post, Tim Cuprisin of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And the guys in Chicago: Robert Feder at the Sun-Times and Phil Rosenthal at the Tribune. Some have moved on to other beats, or other publications. And Cuprisin lost his battle with melanoma last year. A couple are still around, including Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik. And we are fortunate to have the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Gail Shister in our line-up.
And there was always Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star. His TVBarn column would often include an interesting angle about cable news we hadn’t covered or an interview with a TV news personality worth picking up.
It turns out Barnhart has gone off the grid apparently for health reasons. So when a local blogger began asking questions about his whereabouts, it touched a nerve and today Jim Romenesko asks if it’s “anybody’s business” where he is and why?
[Star “watchdog” John] Landsberg tells me that reaction to his Barnhart column “has been mixed” and that “some people think it is a fair question to ask about a prominent columnist who simply virtually disappears for several months. Others consider it a private matter.”