There are few reasons left to read the Pioneer Press. The paper that once tormented its bigger rival across the river with tenacious investigations and Pulitzer Prizes can now be easily digested by the end of the first cup of morning coffee.
In the last two years, three of its highest profile personalities have defected for greener pastures. D.J. Tice and Nick Coleman crossed over to the Star Tribune, and Jim Walsh became a City Pages columnist. (If only the navel-gazing yin and yang of Joe Soucheray and Laura Billings would abandon the ship for postings in Orlando!)
One of the few remaining pleasures in reading the Pi Press is Brian Lambert's media coverage. After 15 years on the beat, he's intimately familiar with the ugly innards of the media business. Whether dissecting the downfall of KSTP news or lampooning the latest adventures in reality TV, Lambert's coverage is consistently amusing and informative.
So naturally editor Vicky Gowler and the far-sighted management at the Pi Press are taking him off the beat. As the Star Tribune reported in June, the move is part of a larger shakeup in the newsroom that will shift more resources to the eastern and northern suburbs and all but abandon any pretense of covering Minneapolis. (The Mill City bureau will go from three reporters to one.)
Gowler refuses to comment on the moves. "I'm really not in a position to talk about it at this point," she says (um...so who is?), adding that the personnel moves are still being worked out.
Lambert's not talking either, but apparently he could end up covering the northern suburbs or high school sports.
More likely scenario: He will soon join the exodus out of the Pi Press.