A quick spin through Google Analytics reveals one of BrauBlog’s most-read 2009 posts was this June entry about KARE senior executive producer Lonnie Hartley’s layoff. As I noted at the time, Hartley was the (sometimes hard-)heart and soul of KARE’s newsroom, and the outpouring of sadness and appreciation was unlike anything I’d received about a specific pink slip.
Christmas Eve eve, I received a note from Lonnie that he’d found a new gig — though not in journalism. He’ll be press secretary for Education Minnesota, the statewide teacher’s union. So former colleagues and peers, be on the lookout for an aggresive labor hack!
Seriously, Hartley is following a trail many journalists have taken in recent years; just a few weeks ago, for example, the Pioneer Press’ Nicole Garrison-Sprenger took a job as Commerce Department communications director in the Pawlenty administration. The largely forced brain-drain from our profession is nothing new, though this year, of course, it’s felt deeper and more harrowing given the economic climate.
The outflow is easy to melodramatize, since there’s a flood of new blood in the blogs and at other insurgent news outlets. But there’s nothing mellow about losing a job, especially after a career of service, so it’s nice to report someone has landed on his feet at holiday time.