Thursday, April 02, 2009

Another Sacramento Bee column bites the dust

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Although I kicked my television addiction some years back, thanks to a 12-step program I found out about by watching late-night TV, I have always enjoyed Rick Kushman's sometimes annoying, but always interesting, columns on television shows, trends in television, and entertainment.

His coverage of what was coming up was the closest thing to must-read stuff in The Sacramento Bee, right after the editorials of course. The editorials were/are must read because...well, let's make this a nice column, ok?

Rick speaking at a convention

I used Rick's columns as a way to keep track of things, to see if new programs were, well, worth watching. I trusted/trust his judgment on a lot of such matters.

Most of all, I observed over the years that in his writing he was always brutally honest, even at times when maybe it wasn't easy to be. That's hard when you get paid to write for a living - and have corporate bosses who are worried about advertisers and advertising dollars.

Now Rick Kushman has been quantum shifted, like many Bee staff members who have survived the latest round of layoffs and cutbacks. I'm sure there is some logic in cutting out the TV column, but I don't understand it. A local take on television, from a local guy who was/is well-known in the community, was a draw for many readers.

This one, for sure.

And The Good Life column? Well, it may have its devotees, but it doesn't hold my attention the same way Rick's analysis of The Sopranos did.

The Sopranos

I have invited Rick to speak in my classes at CSU, Sacramento on many occasions. And he has almost always been able to squeeze my students in, despite a schedule that defies description. He has an open invite for this fall to tell us about The Good Life - and maybe all those insider tidbits about television he doesn't get to write about anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Kushman was definitely among the more entertaining guests you invited to speak in our column writing class. Although I don't (or, didn't) read his column on a regular basis, I did find his writing as you described it... and as he exemplified as a guest lecturer.

    I am constantly ever more disenchanted by the Bee. I used to read most of it most every day, but now there is very little that distinguishes it from every other news source - local or not. To say that the Bee has lost focus would be putting it mildly, but what do I know.

    The recent story regarding Sacramento County CPS is a noteworthy exception. But even that left me wanting more - and there wasn't any more to be had.