Monday, October 29, 2012

Laughing for Newspapers

My newspaper career has been spent on the receiving end of  laughter while Miami Herald columnist  Dave Barry dedicated his newspaper career to making the readers laugh. Even when the subject is serious. I just laughed and cried over an item in his latest book, I'll Mature When I'm Dead. The item -- “A Practical, Workable Plan for Saving the Newspaper Business”  -- strikes very close to my heart. All of us in the business have seen our publications shrink and our friends lose their jobs. His very funny -- and frighteningly true -- analysis opens with  “The American newspaper industry is in serious trouble. How serious? Consider: In 1971, when I was hired for my first newspaper job, there were 62 million newspaper subscribers in the United States; today, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, there are 12, an estimated five of whom are dead and therefore unlikely to renew. What the heck happened?” 

It's a topic everyone is talking about. Just the other day, I spoke to a luncheon group about my memoir Laughing for a Living. In the Q&A afterwards, everyone wanted to know why theater and other local entertainment wasn't getting as much coverage as before, why wire copy was replacing local copy, and basically "What the heck happened?"

I should have told them to ask Dave Barry. At least they'd be laughing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall

I'm usually laughing at theaters, but now that I'm writing books, and going to book signings, I have to laugh at the humor of Parnell Hall.