Nick Coleman: I’m gone with a non-compete

In journalism, two out of three ain’t good, but it’s better than nothing.

Speaking to City Pages’ Emily Kaiser, Nick Coleman confirmed my report earlier Monday that he accepted the Strib’s buyout and that there’s a non-compete included.

Unfortunately, the facet I headlined — “Where’s Nick? In the Star Tribune’s opinion section” — was wrong. Nick told Kaiser he hasn’t signed a deal — though you shouldn’t take that to mean negotiations haven’t been intense and ongoing.

Also unfortunately, Nick complained I hadn’t called him before publishing. That’s technically true but misleading; I emailed him on Saturday, at his personal address — the one he used to reply to me five minutes after I published. (I only have his work cellphone, which didn’t seem appropriate in this case.)

As anyone who knows Nick knows, it’s hard to get him to do something he doesn’t want to do. And clearly, he didn’t want to talk about this — for the first time in our relationship, I’ve had to chase him for comment.

I understand his career comes before my story, which is why out of deference I waited two days to publish. But I don’t think Nick would let a source’s non-cooperation kill a piece, either.

Had Nick told me up front what he told City Pages after the fact, we wouldn’t have had this one-day drama. Again, though, I made a factual mistake — that responsibility is mine and I apologize.

The silver lining? At least my piece smoked out the information Nick’s fans and Strib readers all want to know.

As for the OpEx column, I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by William Souder on 03/02/2009 - 05:30 pm.

    Nice get, Mr. Brauer. Now how about smoking out all those juicy professional opportunities here that make a non-compete agreement anything other than a cruel joke.

  2. Submitted by William Lynott on 03/02/2009 - 09:06 pm.

    Jeez, you people are bloodsuckers.

  3. Submitted by Norman Larson on 03/03/2009 - 03:08 pm.

    I wish Mr. Coleman well. I read his column on occasion. For the most part I do not read columnists. The two new ones at the Star Tribune may be good writers but so far I have read nothing that they have written.

  4. Submitted by Joe Musich on 03/03/2009 - 09:59 pm.

    It’s too bad Coleman is not doing OP-ex ! The page seems to becoming the Mitch Pearlstein his authorative source page with ample support from Michelle Bachman.

  5. Submitted by Andrew Kearney on 03/05/2009 - 08:11 pm.

    The loss of Nick Coleman from the pages of the Star Tribune is the last straw for me with that paper. Although I have not yet canceled my subscription I am considering it and so spending more time these days on MN Post. I hesitate to withdraw from the traditional press because I will dearly miss my morning stroll to the front yard to retrieve the paper and the enjoyment of reading it with a cup of coffee. However my biggest concern by far is that we are inadvertently changing the country’s constitution or if you will the great American experiment. The press is truly the fourth branch of government. Who will hold Tim Pawlenty accountable with Nick Coleman gone? We will now have media designed news by our masters in government. If I do leave the Strib it will be because the current editor changed the character of the paper from assertive journalism to milquetoast fluff as exemplified by the new columnists. It will not because she lost resources and can’t do the best paper possible.

    PS MN Post and the NYT for me

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