Take heart, Oregonian staff: City Commissioner Steve Novick's got your back.
The day after The Oregonian wrote an editorial praising Novick for reversing course on a $1 million parking meter contract, Novick wrote an editorial of his own directed to the newspaper.
The piece, posted on his official city of Portland blog, asks the paper to keep seven-day home delivery and to retain laid-off reporters Scott Learn and Ryan White and editorial writer David Sarasohn on staff.
"It occurred to me that The Oregonian itself, and its parent company, Advance Publications, could gain a lot of good will if they changed their minds about some things they are planning to do," Novick writes.
(The blog also includes a picture of Novick's dog, with the caption, "Come what may, our Corgi, Pumpkin, will enjoy seven day delivery of... the New York Times).
The Oregonian announced in June a reduction of home delivery to four days a week, while cutting nearly a quarter of its newsroom staff.
Novick argues they should reverse course: "Advance (owned by the Newhouse family) is the only national chain that is doing this; are they really sure they're smarter than everyone else?"
He then went on to praise the work of Learn, White and Sarasohn. Of Learn, he writes: "He's one of the best reporters the Oregonian has ever had. And a really nice guy, too."
Of White, he says: "Ryan is now the music critic, but he's mostly just a fantastic all-around writer."
And of Sarasohn he writes: "Just as a business decision I think it's insane; I am quite confident that thousands of Oregonians mostly get the paper to read David Sarasohn," and finishes with, "I doubt any paper in America has an editorial writer with a more refined sense of culture, history and wit than that."
Novick tells WW that he was planning on writing a much nastier version of his blog post a few weeks ago, but then The O published a critical editorial over the his support of controversial changes to the arts tax. So he held off, fearing it would look like he was just firing back.
When the paper published the Aug. 7 editorial, Novick says he thought: "Oh, I can write a much less nasty version of it.
"Something huge is happening to our community that's really sad, and someone needs to be speaking out about it," Novick says. "And sometimes you wanna say good things about people you like, let them know you care. Somebody other than other reporters should be speaking out about Ryan, Scott and David."
Publisher N. Christian Anderson III did not immediately respond to a request from WW for comment on Novick's blog post.