MEDIA: Inky’s Gail Shister Going Metro

Reports indicate that the Inky’s Gail Shister will be leaving her long term perch in the features section and moving over to the Metro desk. Developing…

From an April 2007 PW piece on the Shister by Steve Volk:

Shister lives to be first with the news, having tried to do just that with TV Talk, the Inquirer column that made its last appearance earlier this month. For a quarter-century she covered mostly network newsgailshister.jpg divisions, a highly specialized niche, which she occupied so thoroughly that Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz referred to her as the Inquirer‘s “most famous columnist” in a recent article.

Today Shister is dealing with the aftershock of losing her column. She’s been reassigned as a features reporter.

The change is due, at least in part, to the loss of 66 Inquirer staffers in recent layoffs, which has stretched the newsroom thin. The change could also be perceived as yet more evidence of the Inquirer refocusing to hyper-local reporting.

But the decision shocked a lot of people, partly because it appears to run counter to a philosophy espoused by publisher Brian Tierney, who in the current issue of Philadelphia magazine says he’s enthusiastic about promoting individual reporters as “brands.”

Staffers in the Inquirer newsroom have heard talk that Shister could be contemplating a lawsuit. “I’m considering all options,” says Shister in response, though she refuses to discuss specifics.


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