Houston Chronicle and Mercury News drop classical music critics

Posted on: March 4, 2015

“Classical music in America has lost two more staff classical music critics,” writes Susan Elliott at MusicalAmerica.com (subscription required) on Tuesday (3/3). “Steven Brown, critic for The Houston Chronicle for the last two years, was laid off at the end of January. Richard Scheinin, classical music and jazz writer for The San Jose Mercury News since 2003, has been reassigned to cover real estate for the newspaper. Neither will continue to cover music on a freelance basis for their respective journals.” At the Chronicle, Scheinin began in 1988 as a “general assignment reporter in the features section. He stayed in that job until 1992, when he was moved to religion and ethics; in 2003 he was put on the classical music and jazz beat. Classical music accounted for about 80 percent of [Scheinin’s] stories…. Mercury News Arts and Entertainment Editor Randy McMullen … wrote in a blog, ‘Our news organization is undergoing financial challenges and needs talented writers such as Rich to cover other, broader topics in the news world…. But we will continue to cover classical and jazz music throughout the Bay Area with our talented team of staff writers and freelancers.”

Posted March 4, 2015