The Oregonian’s most prominent writer, sports columnist John Canzano, has left the newspaper after 20 years.
Canzano’s departure was announced in a brief post this morning on OregonLive.com.
Editor Therese Bottomly offered no explanation for his departure.
“I wish John all the best going forward,” Bottomly tells WW. “He’s a terrific writer.”
Canzano did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
His colleagues believe Canzano was the highest paid member of the Oregonian staff. He was certainly the most recognizable—in part because his columns were reliably provocative, lambasting Oregon sports executives, scolding well-known athletes and goading fan bases of the Blazers, Ducks and Beavers. He also had an unusual deal at the paper, allowing him to host a talk radio show, The Bald-Faced Truth, on 750-AM The Game while penning his column. (The radio show took its title from Canzano’s distinctive shaved pate.)
One former colleague, the longtime sportswriter Ken Goe, lamented Canzano’s departure on Twitter. “This is a tragic mistake for The Oregonian,” Goe wrote.
Canzano launched a new website this morning, offering readers a newsletter, access to his radio show, podcast and archived columns. Other journalists, such as the former ESPN and New York Times basketball writer Marc Stein, have followed a similar path to the platform Substack, betting that readers will follow them to new homes that will be more lucrative than newspaper work.
One difference: Substack writers charge for their content but at least for now, Canzano’s newsletter will be free.