Critic axed by Cleveland Orch?

April 3, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
The fascinating story of the battle between The Cleveland Plain Dealer, its high-profile music critic, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra has been a long-standing buzz topic in the arts world.

In short, critic consistantly writes negatively about maestro. Symphony pressures newspaper. Newspaper demotes critic.

The play by play is more complicated than that. You can--and, if you are remotely interested in arts and media, should--read the play by play in Cleveland Magazine's recent article here.

My question? What should happen when the pen of the critic for the paper of record consistantly draws blood from a top-dog arts organization?  Did the inevitable happen or was there another solution to the problem? And, ultimately, were the readers served?

Your thoughts?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Anyone else see the irony of a newspaper called the Plain Dealer firing a guy for speaking too plainly?

    Every major market newspaper has a sports writer on staff who regularly lambastes the home team, calls for the firing of coaches and players, and generally holds every game to superhuman standards. They attract bags of hate mail from readers and get badmouthed or brushed off by owners, coaches, and players as a matter of course. But they keep their jobs.

    Why? They sell newspapers. People may hate Bob Kravitz, but they buy the Star and read him just to get mad at him. They expect him to hold athletes' feet to the fire and make cranky comments.

    Meanwhile, arts reviewers merely add color to a section of the paper that fewer people read. Also, I'd argue that lots of arts audiences are inordinately generous to institutions like orchestras - when's the last time you went to an orchestra concert that DIDN'T get a standing ovation? - and many arts administrators think that critics owe them some kind of knee-jerk appreciation just because they're lovers of the arts and we're all in this together . . . or some such thing.

    I think perhaps the Plain Dealer missed a chance to play up the drama and maybe sell a few newspapers. The bottom line probably was that it wouldn't have made nearly as much difference as the sales generated by whatever crank sports writer they have on staff (and I guarantee they have one) - so they folded rather than backing their man.

    This is not a sports = bad/arts = good argument. On the contrary, I think maybe arts organizations and news media could learn a lesson from the relationship of the sports writers and sports teams. On one side, don't be so darned sensitive when someone doesn't like your work. On the other, stick to your guns and let the critic call it like s/he sees it.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT