See previous post for the backstory.
I was on my way to Gustavo Dudamel’s debut at L.A. Opera on Friday when I was laid off. I could have still gone and reviewed it here (for free) but as you will understand I didn’t feel up to it. And no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
I was not fired for cause (as the lawyers say) or for the quality of my work. In fact, I was told the quality of my work had nothing to do with it. Just need to make that clear.
The paper retains at least two staff writers who review pop concerts and write about pop culture, so I’d say there’s a bit of reverse elitism going on here. I was not given the chance to write about other subjects, as when I wrote that laff fest celebrity column known as People for two years.
OK, four things. I’ve worked at the paper a little short of 18 years and was given two weeks severance. I’m looking for a lawyer who will work pro bono or for a small fee to help me get some more severance.
Long Live Music Criticism!
Tim, my wife works in the legal field. I’ll make some inquiries.
Ok. I’m talking to a lawyer monday. Anything you find out will be helpful. Thank you!
You’re certainly in my thoughts today, Tim. Didn’t see your previous post until very late last night and was too stunned by your announcement to formulate an intelligible response.
I recall a relatively recent conversation we had about the latest changes over at the Register as well as the dwindling ranks of classical music critics at newspapers around the country. Still, I felt confident that due to the length of your tenure combined with the depth of your talent and quality of output, the powers-that-be would realize that they’re damned lucky to have you.
There’s no question that you deserved far better than this, my friend. You’ve got my email address. Please keep me posted on what happens next.
I’ve written to the Register to complain. Probably won’t help (they must be clueless to let this happen) but at least they’ll know one of their subscribers is ticked.
Thank you, Chris.
Tim, condolences on the treatment afforded you! Was given heads up on social media by the wonderful Alex Ross. One small point thought – if I understand you correctly, you say you only write for money, yet expect a lawyer to take your case Pro-Bono!?
Am left puzzled by what seems double standards?
The quote about writing for money is from Samuel Johnson, and was half in jest. But I am not independently wealthy and cannot afford to do music criticism for free.
Nor do I expect a lawyer to. But from what little I understand “pro bono” work gets a lawyer another kind of credit, worth as much as money. Still, I’m willing to pay. I just can’t afford a big fee.
aha ! Understood. Apologies for missing that one!
Truly hope the lawyer connection Monday works out well and you get some legal back up.
The treatment of you is disgraceful and shameful for that publication.
Classical music is being side-lined across the globe by ignoramuses with no good reason!
“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
— John Lennon
Tim, can you put up a contact link with the right email address for you or a contact form? Or drop me a line – I have some information for you, but only your ocregister.com email, and….I would guess that is no longer working.
See latest post, Lisa.
Another grievous injustice, Tim. The world we’re forced
to know is full of it. But take heart, a door will open for you…
East bay community law center Berkeley, ca. Look them up online they may have contacts on the o.c.
Very sorry to hear this dismal news, Tim. You deserve better. My thoughts are with you.
I’m very sorry to hear this news too, Tim. You deserve so much better treatment than this.
I would certainly read your reviews if you had a review blog. Sorry to hear of the Register’s misplaced priorities. As a music teacher I have a different perspective on the importance of music criticism as an art and and in society. You aren’t alone. One of my music teacher friends was let go after over 20 years because they were going to focus on the basics ( and felt they could hire someone less qualified for half the price). Very little severance. Good news is she has a better job with better pay and benefits, with a school that values her skills. Hope you find something wonderful.
As a “blockhead” who does a lot of work on a blog for which I don’t get paid, along with the free-lance work for which I do get paid a little, I am really sorry for the way your were treated. No one deserves that, and it’s so sad to me that music critics keep getting that treatment when we need more, not less, informed commentary on culture. I’m retired and can afford to pour my energy into the work I do as a reporter and music critic because I think it is important. But a vibrant musical and cultural life should not depend on people like me who can afford to make a contribution just because we want to. I will be thinking of you and hoping that you find a position where your skills and insights will be valued andy you will feel fulfilled.
Tim, I’ve been out of LA since 2000, but remember your excellent work for the LA Times. I can’t offer any kind of comfort for you. This is a tough time for any writer, but for critics and thoughtful commentators on the state of the arts, this is an awful time. When I worked at a big four accounting firm in the late 90s and early 2000s, a perk we’d use for clients would be a night out at the LA Philharmonic. By the time I left, that was no longer an option, but a night at the Staples Center watching the Lakers from a luxury box was. I always thought that was an apt reflection on the tastes of an upcoming generation of the executive class, and a signal of an ominous cultural shift taking place in corporate America.
Having also lived in Orange County, I know there’s a taste for classical music, but — and this may somewhat unfair to say about an entire populace — not a deep or enduring one. I know I can’t really console you. This is not only about your love for the art, it’s also about your livelihood and your financial future. It’s an ominous sign.
Up the road, it seems that the glitter has not come off Disney Hall, Dudamel and the LA Phil, and good for them. But the arts must continue to fight for their value on their own terms and not just for an edifice or a charismatic personality, both of which will have their day come to an end at some point.
Sympathies and best wishes.
I am so sorry. That the Register management are idiot philistines is no help to you. Hang in there, and know that your work is much appreciated by your readers, at least!
No idea who you are– I ‘m on the other side of the country (near Detroit); but I still think it’s a damn shame. The Detroit papers canned their classical music critics years ago. Good luck to you.