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April 30, 2009 12:30 PM

The Baltimore Sun is a Classless Institution


Newspapers are suffering. It's no secret that they are trimming their staff and finding any way possible to cut costs. It is the unfortunate reality of a world moving away from traditional media and toward purely digital forms of communication. But this is not an essay on the fledgling newspaper industry. No, this is a calling-out of The Baltimore Sun.

Due to the hard times newspapers are facing, The Sun has been forced to cut staff. That’s fine, but there are certain ways you just don't conduct business, regardless of the hard circumstances you are facing. The Baltimore Sun, and sports editor Tim Wheatley, chose to disregard common decency in their completely classless and disrespectful manner when they fired members of its staff yesterday.

Columnists Rick Maese and David Steele were fired by phone, in the press box at Camden Yards, during the 8th inning of the Orioles game against the Angels Wednesday afternoon. Beat writer Dan Connolly and a photographer were also informed that they were fired at the same time, but Connolly was able to keep his job after two less senior writers accepted buyouts.

All of these people deserved the courtesy of being told in person that they were being let go, not over the phone, not in the press box, and certainly not while on assignment for the paper. Steele has been at the Sun since September 2004, and Maese since at least December 2005 (couldn't find an exact date). Both deserved better.

The Baltimore Sun is hurting in a bad way, laying off nearly 60 people in two days, but that is no excuse for the complete lack of respect they showed yesterday. Maese and Steele are both good writers – hopefully they find a new home that can offer them a little more respect than their former employer.

Baltimore Sun Fires Writers in Press Box During Game - SportsbyBrooks
The Baltimore Sun is Absolutely Heartless, and Tim Wheatey is a Gutless Sports Editor - The Big Lead
Angels 3, Orioles 2 - OC Register
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