Columnist Adds Up the Detroit Newspaper Buyouts

A solid summary by Crain's Detroit Business writer Bill Shea.

DetroitFreePressLogoDetroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh had been with the paper since 1982. Detroit News sports columnist Terry Foster joined the city’s rival daily in 1988, after five years at the Free Press. The two journalists are among the many high-profile writers who chose to take buyouts at the end of this year from the two papers’ respective owners Tegna and Digital First Media.

From a year-end wrap up of the Detroit media scene by Crain’s Detroit Business columnist Bill Shea:

The News is losing news columnist Laura Berman, lifestyle columnist Marney Rich Keenan, music writer Susan Whitall, film reviewer Tom Long, columnist and commuting reporter Tom Greenwood, food writer Kate Lawson, photographers David Coates and Charles V. Tines, local news-business editor Joanna Firestone, metro desk editor Judy Diebolt and online editor Mary Bailey.

Longtime sports columnist Foster also took early retirement from The Detroit News. His last day was Dec. 27. Foster’s decision to take a retirement buyout at age 56, he said, stems from displeasure over what his editors wanted him to do.

Foster made the announcement on Twitter, saying the decision was rooted in the newspaper’s push to have him cover the Detroit Pistons as a full-time beat writer – in an often-grueling slog that involves an 82-game schedule split between The Palace of Auburn Hills and road games around the country.

Foster continues to co-host WXYT-FM 97.1’s highly-rated afternoon sports talk show.

As Shea notes, there were also cutbacks in 2015 on the digital side. In June, Fox Sports Detroit laid off a staff of four writers as well as Tom Gage, the Detroit News Tigers beat reporter who had come over in March. Gage was able to find a new, temporary home this fall with The Sporting News.