Beginning in the new year, the Star Tribune will cut back Katherine Kersten’s weekly Sunday op-ed column to twice monthly.
“Yes, they are cutting me back to twice a month,” Kersten confirms. “I will continue to write under this new arrangement.”
And what of Kersten’s op-ed mate Nick Coleman — who grudgingly accepted the weekly gig as a sort of settlement after he and Kersten had their metro columns taken away in 2008?
Coleman did not immediately return an email left through his blog. But former Strib colleague and MinnPost contributor John Reinan says Coleman recently told him of the cutback. Coleman — who has written for, and won awards at, Twin Cities dailies for decades — is considering giving up the column entirely, Reinan says.
“I’m telling you because I think it’s awful that Twin Cities readers are going to be getting less Nick Coleman, whether it’s twice a month or no times a month,” Reinan says.
The Strib op-ed page will be duller without the experienced provocateur, Reinan adds: “We don’t have that Eugene McCarthy point-of-view much anymore.”
In the past year, Kersten has skipped several weeks, so for her fans, the cutback might not represent much practical change. However, Coleman has been committed to the gig, even as he’s ramped up his blog and become a Bush Leadership Fellow. The Strib remains a megaphone, even if Coleman writes unfettered elsewhere.
Earlier this year, Coleman lost a McCarthy Fellowship at St. John’s University after wealthy conservative alumni complained about his Strib columns.
Editorial page editor Scott Gillespie would not confirm or explain the arrangement — but didn’t knock it down, either. “Nick and Katherine both have contracts with us, and because of that I don’t think it would be right for me to comment right now,” Gillespie says. “If they choose to talk with you about their situations, that’s fine.”