On Tuesday, Shister was told she would no longer be writing her widely read column, and would instead be asked to do more pop-culture television features, she confirmed yesterday.
“We’re all part of a new world here, and I never thought I’d be immune, but I’m not ready to uncork the champagne yet,” Shister said of her disappointment. “There are better ways to utilize my 25 years of contacts and reportorial skills than to limit me to pop-culture features,” she said.
Inqwaster Features Editor Sandy Clark says the decision to re-assign Shister “was made entirely by me.” But we have heard the decision was made by a higher power at the paper. Clark told us yesterday that a round of recent layoffs had hurt the Inqwaster‘s Features Department, which now must make do with fewer people.
Shister’s column was “almost exclusively devoted to network news divisions, morning shows, and anchors,” and the paper “can’t afford a column so narrowly focused,” Clark said. “The paper is trying to freshen” its TV coverage and “expand our focus.”
Shister’s column, which appeared three times a week in the broadsheet, was well-read within the TV industry. Asked if it was unwise to chip away at yet another area in which the Inqwaster had national standing, Clark said the paper’s goal is to “serve our readers, not to make Romenesko,” a popular journalism blog found on Poynter.org.
DAN GROSS: Please God, Let Her Write About The Internet Killing The Broadcast Television Star, But NOT ONE MORE FUCKIN’ WORD About American Idol, Thanks, Margaret