Anyone starting to notice the irony yet? Smells a little like...uh...bacon. By which I mean, for months Belo management has been insisting its buyouts at The Dallas Morning News were all about "empower[ing] reporters and photographers to employ methods in new media and digital journalism to communicate stories," as editor Bob Mong put it in a press release last month. That's why the paper lopped off 111 of its own limbs last week--to get ready for the future that was passing it by, to save money it was gonna spend out in the digital ether when the time came. So it allowed to walk out the door pretty much all of the newspaper's arts staff; guess they weren't ready for the brave new tomorrow, right?
Well, turns out pretty much everyone who left the fourth floor has already resurfaced--yup, on the good ol' Interweb, which, last I heard, was gonna belong entirely to Robert Decherd. In addition to Ed Bark's Web site, mentioned here yesterday, former arts editor Rick Holter has launched After the DMN, which thus far includes among its "team members" DMN art critic Janet Kutner and a myserious "chris." It's nowhere near as content-rich as Bark's site so far; Holter did post at 4:36 a.m. today, but about a friend's pool party. (Hey, what does he think this is? The "Neighbors" supplement?) "Unlike the incredibly productive Ed Bark," Holter writes, "I spent my first day post-Belo pretty much wasting time."
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A bigger group of Belo ex-pats has started the Fourth Floor Alumni Association; among their ranks thus far are Bill Marvel, food critic Dotty Griffith, Michael Precker, some other feature-writing folks...and Ed Bark, who has contributed the sole posting to the blog. It's a promo for Uncle Barky, which, I guarantee you, will be the most-visited-and-viewed local blog by the end of October. Or this afternoon. --Robert Wilonsky