Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Humor columnist doesn't find firing funny

Mary Hanna says in her blog that she's received dozens of e-mails after she was dropped as a humor columnist by the San Mateo County Times in a budget cutting move. She said the bad news came in a three-minute call from Times editor Glenn Rabinowitz, who cited a need to cut his freelance costs by 40 percent. Referring to herself in the third person, Hanna writes on her blog:
    Second Half fans, who have dubbed themselves “Hannaholics,” are reacting by canceling their subscriptions, sending letters of protest, and telling their favorite columnist that Second Half was the one bright spot in the midst of today’s grim news.

    In the words of one reader, “it was like getting a letter from a friend every week.”

    Another ardent fan writes, “I just picked up my S.M. Times and read with horror that it was your last column. I have been thinking about cancelling my subscription and that is the nail in the coffin. I will let them know this, too. Are you writing for any other newspaper? I will subscribe to whichever one it is! Your columns are the highlight of my days on Wed and Fri. I come home from work and rush to get the paper and you always brighten my days.”

    Hanna is looking for another outlet for “Second Half” and is confident that her thousands of readers will continue to follow her adventures.
If Hanna's name sounds familiar to reporters who have covered the city of Palo Alto, she was that city government's communication's manager for nine years, authoring many press releases.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having hired Mary years ago because she wrote whimsically to a strong niche audience, I am saddened to see her go. The Times, like many newspapers today, is shedding not leaves but its rich fruits. I wish Mary well and hope she continues feeding her audience online.

Terry Winckler