… or, the year in DVDs.
Now, obviously this list is going to be somewhat incomplete, as I wasn’t on the hardcore DVD beat for the full calendar year. And come to think of it, I suppose I should address the whole Starweek thing — it’s certainly the biggest DVD story of the year, as far as I’m concerned.
First things first: I did not leave. I was dumped.
Second things second: I was dumped because some idiot at the Toronto Star believes the paper should do everything the Globe and Mail does, and when the Globe shrank its Broadcast Week magazine in the spring, reducing the page count — and cutting costs! — the Star quickly followed suit.
That meant cutting the book in half, though not reducing the size of the damnable thing, with which readers have been justly annoyed for five years now. Instead, the page count was reduced, just like Broadcast Week’s, and all the columns were being halved so that nothing substantial would change.
Since the column would now be so much shorter, it’d just make so much more financial sense to “bring it inside” — to let a staffer write it, instead of paying me as a freelancer — and that would be that. Thanks for your service, you’ve got two columns left, you’re done at the end of May.
I wanted to be pragmatic about it. The Star’s made stupid decisions before, and reversed them; after all, hadn’t Starweek dropped my column in 2001, when it jumped to the bigger format, only to resurrect it after five weeks? (Of course, things were different then; the paper was flooded with e-mails and faxes, and I had an editor who fought like the devil to keep me.)
And after the first few weeks of the “inside” column, I was sure they’d come back to me; it was just sad, it was. But, no. I forgot the most important thing about newspaper work: What’s on the page doesn’t matter, so long as the page is filled. And the back page of Starweek is indeed filled … though it seems inevitable that the paper will scrap the whole book, now that the Globe has folded the Broadcast Week listings into its Friday entertainment section.
Anyhow. Seven months after my unceremonious dismissal — which, if you’re looking for irony, was delivered by phone while I was bedridden with food poisoning, leading me to wonder whether I’d hallucinated the whole thing — I’m still without a reg’lar DVD gig. Which does pain me somewhat, because I do think I’m rather good at it.
I hope this doesn’t sound like whining. I still have my Metro gig, and I’m still writing reviews for UR and Canadian Smart Living, and it’s not like being dumped by the Star was the worst thing that happened this year. But I built a reputation and a readership over my fifteen years in those Starweek’s pages, and it does frustrate me to no longer have that outlet.
So. Anybody hiring?
Best DVDs of 2006, after the jump … because you deserve ’em.
Continue reading You Can’t Burn a Bridge if They’ve Already Taken it Up