Yesterday, I checked out the Washington Post Sunday Magazine online, as I do mostly every Saturday. Achenbach's Rough Draft is funny, as usual ("The Year of You"). Weingarten has found a way to turn an interview with a doctor about butt surgery into a column, no big surprise there. And the cover story, the cover of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine, is Dave Barry's big, annual "Year in Review" essay. Wait a minute! That's not a Washington Post story! That is a Miami Herald story. I was really ticked off when I saw it. It set me off again, ranting about the long-defunct Tropic Magazine. Killing Tropic was the most egregiously bad business decision the Herald has ever made. Look what has happened. Achenbach has moved to Washington, where he now plays golf with Bob Woodward instead of helping Floridians with our palmetto bug problems. Tom Shroder is at the Post, editing their magazine instead of breaking ground every week with a fresh, thoughtful Sunday Magazine from Miami. Weingarten has returned to the nation's capital, after his too-brief stint as editor of Tropic. He hired Dave Barry, for God's sake. How do you let a guy like that get away? And now, there's Dave on the cover of the Post Magazine. Carl Hiaasen is still in Miami, and he will probably stay because he loves it here. Ironically, he is the one guy who probably should work for the Washington Post, because his specialty is identifying lying, scumbag politicians.
I will cut this rant short, because this morning when I got up and took a look at the January 1, 2006 Miami Herald, I found that Dave's article is there, with illustrations, on the front page of the Tropical Life secton. So, okay. But they should never have shut down Tropic. That was wrong.
Fred Grimm's column in today's Herald speaks to the question of declining newspaper circulation and the future of newsprint.