Times-Picayune’s Anderson noncommittal on return

First: For 11 years, Brett Anderson eats and types his way to a celebrated stint as restaurant critic for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Second: Anderson finds himself on the wrong list as the Times-Picayune reduces its staff as part of a transition to a digital future. He reports that the reason for his dismissal was that he’d accepted a Nieman Fellowship.

Third: The Times-Picayune realizes how badly it screwed up and “invites” Anderson to come back following completion of the fellowship.

Fourth: Anderson doesn’t know whether he’ll accept this invitation from the outfit that just pink-slipped him.

Here’s his comment on that question:

It has been a privilege to write about restaurants in New Orleans for over 11 years. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to continue doing so when I finish with my Nieman Fellowship. I do not have to make a decision as to whether or not I return until my fellowship is near its completion.

And just how does this leave him feeling?

My feelings are for the scores of extremely talented colleagues who are living with uncertain futures. Inasmuch as I have had any professional success while working at the TP — which is for others to judge — it has been because I have tried to live up to the standards that they set. I think all of them deserve to have been given the opportunity that I have been presented with, which is to continue doing what I love.

So Anderson will keep his options open. While the Times-Picayune “invited” Anderson to come back, Anderson appears, in other words, to be inviting other suitors. Given what has gone down in recent weeks, only a fool would blame him.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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