Philadelphia loses a classical-music writer: Inquirer offers David Patrick Stearns buy-out deal

Posted on: November 16, 2017

“As of December 8th, after 17-plus years, I will no longer be on the Philadelphia Inquirer fine arts staff,” writes classical-music critic David Patrick Stearns on Thursday’s (11/16) “I will continue to freelance for the Inquirer, but how much, and what that looks like, remains to be seen.… Luckily, my commitment to WQXR’s blogs has been growing, and Opera News magazine has me profiling singers … The current fine arts staff at the Inquirer is first-class … I will still be working with them, but not like before. And my departure wasn’t exactly by choice. The company announced that it was offering buyouts, with a quota of 35 or so; if that quota wasn’t met, layoffs would begin, without the settlements that come with a buyout…. The paper is clearly having to make tough choices about its allocation of resources. From a distance, one could conclude that the Inquirer has two classical music critics—Peter Dobrin and me.… Yes, we both review classical-music concerts, but he does a huge amount of institutional reporting … I focus, along with reviews, more on interviews and features … Amid shrinking resources, the newspaper industry is moving towards being the kind of information hub that can be accessed by smartphone…. Your typical staff writer is becoming an independent producer.”

Posted November 16, 2017