When Advance Publications began cutting staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Angela Rozas, an editor at the Chicago Tribune and former New Orleans reporter, opened a bar tab there for her beleaguered former colleagues. Thursday night, former Birmingham journalists and News alumni are following her lead in the Magic City, opening a tab for News reporters at Lou’s Pub.
Some of the generous donors include Steve Merelman, Adam Goldman, Rick Bragg, Steve Chiotakis, Gigi Douban, Anne Sclater, Margaret Newkirk and Brett Blackledge.
“But know we’re hurting for you guys and we believe some booze and perhaps some laughs will help ease things, if only for a few hours,” Blackledge wrote his former colleagues. “Bottoms up (within limits. We’re not idiots. We did put a cap on tab.)”
UPDATE: Birmingham News
columnist local buzz reporter John Archibald has an updated list of the folks far and wide who chipped in Thursday night. From his post Friday morning:
Help me raise a cup to Pulitzer winners and former Newsies Brett Blackledge, Adam Goldman, Rick Bragg and Harold Jackson; to legendary News alumni Scott Stantis, Steve Merelman, Erin Stock, Hannah Wolfson, Carol Nunnelley, Hunter George; Gigi Douban; Paul Isom, Vivi Abrams, Pam Dugan, Tiffany Ray, Sherri Chunn Goodman and Betsy Price; to the inimitable Steve Chiotakis; to kind colleagues Anthony Bratina, Jamon Smith, Shweta Gamble, Patrick Rupinski, Tommy Deas, Lydia Seabolavant, Michael James, Corey Craft and Katherine Lee at the Tuscaloosa News; to more kind colleagues Arielle Kass, Dan Chapman, Scott Trubey and Jim Tharpe at the AJC; to friends Margaret Newkirk, Emily Peterson and Anne Sclater; and last but not least to MERELMAN’S MOM — and to anyone who I don’t yet know about — we say thanks.