Sunday, October 18, 2009

Columnist Dan Weintraub leaves The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Weintraub published his farewell column in today's newspaper, ending a nine-year run as a writer and most recently as the interim editor of the editorial pages since the departure of editorial pages editor David Holwerk.

In his farewell remarks, he mentions columns upcoming with the New York Times and plans for a website where his work will be featured.

  • LINK: Weintraub says adios to The Bee

  • Dan will be missed by many of his faithful readers. He was known for doing a tremendous amount of reporting before ever touching the keyboard to write his column. And most of his columns were well thought out and analytical. High-pitched emotions were not a part of his regular repertoire. If anything, his critics complained that they wanted him to inject more opinion and/or outrage into his writing.

    Dan Weintraub
    Dan Weintraub

    I met Dan Weintraub on the day he came to work for The Sacramento Bee. He took over the office of the late Bee writer John Jacobs, his job to write about politics and policy matters. At the time, I was working as fill-in editor for Bill Moore, then editor of the Bee's Forum section.

    Over the years, when I was filling in at various times for Bill Moore or Jewel Reilly (editor of the op-ed pages), Dan and I talked a lot. On occasion, I edited Dan's column before it went to press.

    We didn't always agree on political matters. And our discussions about the politics of universities and university education - and university professors - were a lot of fun. Probably more for me than Dan.

    Dan's role at the newspaper changed in the last year or so, as the Bee management struggled with the financial free fall that has affected most media companies. His columns became rare as he took over other duties and the number of staff members in the editorial section of the newspaper kept shrinking.

    And for a brief time, he found himself at the helm of the newspaper's editorial section, a duty he just relinquished in the last few weeks, when Stuart Leavenworth was promoted to the editor's position.

    Dan Weintraub's departure adds his name to a long list of talented writers and editors who have left The Bee in the last few years, some voluntarily, some taking a buyout, some laid off (or pushed not-too-gently out the door): Bill Moore, John Hughes, Dorothy Korber, Mike Dunne, Lisa Heyamoto and Rachel Leibrock, to name just a few.

    It will be interesting to see if The Bee opts to replace Dan, or absorb his position (and salary) into the bottom line of the corporation.

    Either way, it will more interesting to follow the next adventures of Dan Weintraub as he becomes an 'independent journalist.'

    1 comment:

    1. Re a replacement for Dan, The Bee has posted two openings for a columnist and local affairs editorial writer. Leavanworth has mentioned them also in a Facebook posting.