Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Buyout update: Lileks, CJ, Sack

The Strib will accept “three up to three” buyout requests from Metro-section columinsts, but James Lileks doesn’t seem like a guy who got bad news while C.J. just seems like herself.

Talked to James Lileks, had an interesting email exchange with C.J., and want to fine-tune earlier reporting on editorial cartoonist Steve Sack.

The short version on Lileks and C.J. is that both are “no comments” when asked whether management might take their columns in a buyout shuffle.

Lileks — who by nature makes ebullient seem sluggish — didn’t seem like a guy whose life was about to change for the worse. He seemed especially jaunty about co-anchoring “Strib TV” coverage of Tuesday’s Canvassing Board hearings with political editor Doug Tice.

His biggest worry, he said, was looking like Ted Baxter. Of Strib management, he said, “I’ve been talking to them today” but when pressed for details, politely wouldn’t provide any.

Article continues after advertisement

I wouldn’t term the first sentence of C.J.’s reponse polite, but she wrote back promptly: “I am responding to you as a professional courtesy, because I like to hear from people even when they have nothing to add,” she emailed. “My bosses asked me not to discuss our meeting.”

As for Sack: I mentioned he was “targeted” in my first buyout piece, but for now I think a better word is “eligible.” His is a job classification of one, but his presence on management’s list only indicates they’d accept his buyout request if he offers one. I have a call into him for more details.

[Update: Sack says “offered” is the best word to describe his buyout situation, which indicates the carrot was presented without any customized stick.]

I’ve also asked for Katherine Kersten’s and Nick Coleman’s comments, and will provide them when/if they offer them up.