Revolving Door: Linda Mack Fired, Minneapolis Goes Critic-less


Interesting local story coming out of Minneapolis late yesterday: despite the booming architectural and design scene in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, The Minneapolis Star Tribune has eliminated the position of architecture critic and reporter, Linda Mack who has worked in that capacity for the paper for the past twenty years. It’s another story of a newspaper suffering in a tighter and tighter market, but you’d think there’s probably a reporter somewhere that just covers the every gossip-y move of Jesse Ventura or Al Franken that we certainly could live without. Here’s a bit:

In addition to reporting on architecture, planning, and landscape design, Mack had covered the urban landscape in a weekly features column for 20 years. Her position was one of 50 newsroom jobs cut — part of a larger effort to trim the paper’s staff by seven percent, or 145 jobs — affecting arts, classical music, and film coverage.

Janet Abrams, director of the Design Institute at the University of Minnesota, is among many observers who think that these cuts are ill-timed, if not ill-advised — particularly when it comes to architecture writing. “It’s a shame if there isn’t going to be consistent coverage at precisely the time when the Twin Cities are in an ascendant position.”