The Plain Dealer today became the Pain Dealer: About 50 members of its newsroom staff were reportedly laid off this morning, via phone calls.
I had feared that my post today would be another Jori Finkel story, with the Cleveland newspaper’s veteran art and architecture critic, Steven Litt, as another victim of the national decline in arts coverage.
I was pleasantly surprised: The job-cutters apparently deemed Litt to be as indispensable as I regard him. He stays. So we will soon have his reports on what the Cleveland Museum will substitute for its scotched Sicily show and on how the final phase (Rafael Viñoly-designed West Wing, opening in December) of that museum’s ambitious expansion shapes up.
For Steve, his good fortune is a mixed blessing. He told me: “It’s hard to take pleasure in surviving, when so many people are hurting today.”
This news involving cutbacks at yet another major paper resonates with my own plans today: In less than two hours, I’ll be meeting in New York with a Cleveland-based public relations executive, who hopes to drum up future coverage of “the city’s art scene and upcoming happenings” at the Cleveland Museum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Orchestra, among others.
Another reason to go to Cleveland: Maybe I’ll finally get to meet Steve!