Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adios, Rick Kushman - Bee readers hope for a sequel

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Next week Rick Kushman will walk out the door of The Sacramento Bee newspaper after a great run as a reporter and columnist.

In the last couple of years, Rick has been a real go-to guy for The Bee, a survivor of several rounds of layoffs and down-sizings brought on by a combination of incredibly bad planning on the part of the managers of The Bee and a near free-fall decline in print advertising revenues.

Rick Kushman
Rick's plans? A book for sure is in the works. Some teaching, too, probably. But who knows? He's a talented guy who started to outgrow The Bee several years ago but stayed for all the obvious reasons: a good job, loyalty, a great schedule.

Outgrew The Bee?


 Rick had a loyal following as a TV columnist for years and did an excellent job with that column. He also contributed other stories. But it was his TV commentary that drew readers - lot of readers. It was a colossal blunder to remove him from that, a blunder I wrote about more than a year ago when it happened: No more Rick the TV guy.

Now Rick is joining the talent exodus from The Bee, a talent exodus that is coming at a time when this city really needs a good daily newspaper - and writers who readers can connect to.

Rick has the kind of personality that lends itself to an emerging brand of personal journalism that is fast becoming the standard in the publishing business.

If Rick were to start an on-line TV critic blog, I would sign up right away. In fact, everyone reading this should email him and tell him that would be a good idea:

Rick's leaving The Bee leaves another hole in the lineup of a news team whose bench is getting shallower every month it seems.

Bon voyage Rick. Fans will be watching for a blockbuster career sequel. Maybe he will write the screenplay for a film starting Paul Giamatti: Sideways Again.

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