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LAT's Dwyre retiring

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TigerVols, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

  2. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    Damn, man was a true pro.
  3. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    The antithesis of Simers in personality. Dwyer is a good dude, and a great writer. At his age, though, this isn't a surprise.
  4. YorksArcades

    YorksArcades Active Member

    Who's this Dwyer fellow?
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    He will be missed.

    He IS missed, by me, at least, now that I am no longer in the business, or at the LAT, where I was a relative nobody but still a hard, productive worker and someone who was always proud to be there.

    As Jay Privman tweeted, Dwyre is a good man. I see him as something of a moral compass in that newsroom. He certainly was someone who would share his experience, connections, ideas and wisdom -- and encourage those of others -- when he worked with younger reporters.

    To wit: He loved pro tennis and enjoyed covering it, as I did. Among some of my fondest memories of work at the LAT were a couple of occasions when he invited me into his office (granted it was virtually only about three feet from my desk), shut the door, and went over with me how best to attack a couple of fairly in-depth, tennis-related news and news-feature stories. He pulled out his rolodex, called a couple of sources of his own, introduced me to them, bounced some information I'd had off of them, thus, helping me on the way to three stories that were among those I was most proud of in my career, and giving me sources that I returned to again and again over the years.

    The day after the stories ran as a package, I found hard-copy printouts of them sitting on my desk, with Dwyre's hand-written compliments about them scrawled across the top.

    The thing I will always love him for most, however, was his quiet personal support of me once it started to become clear that I was likely to be among those targeted in the next round of the many buyouts that have taken place there over the last 10 years. In my case, this was in early or mid-2007.

    I'll always remember how he made a point of taking me to lunch one day -- just little ole me, and him -- around that time and advised me to keep working hard, keep coming up with good ideas (which was an acknowledged and appreciated strong suit of mine), but, more than anything, keep a low profile beyond that, and don't clash with mid-level supervisors or editors. I know he also took another reporter, who was also at a similar level to me, out for a similar one-on-one lunchtime meeting around that same time.

    I did my best, and so did the other reporter, but, sure enough, we were the next two let go from the sports staff there. So, I have to think that Dwyre knew. He just knew, even before we did, although I'm sure both of us were getting that sense.

    At the time, working at the paper was my life, and my parting from the LAT was not easy. And it was followed by what still ranks as the darkest period of time in my life.

    The next day, though, when, you know, the typical job-ending desertion/separation begins and is really felt, I received two unsolicited phone calls at home from now-former colleagues. One was from Mike Bresnahan. (How highly I, and many others, probably, think of him is another story).

    The other was from Bill Dwyre, wanting to know the scoop on exactly what had happened with me and how I was doing. To the best of my ability, I told him, and he let me know that I could use him as a reference, and ask anytime for any other help he could give. I thanked him from the heart, but even in my misery, it didn't seem like enough because it had meant that much to me that he'd gone out of his way to contact me when almost no one else did, at what I considered the lowest point of my life.

    About a year later, still-struggling job-wise, but doing much better overall, I met Dwyre again for lunch in L.A., at a popular, upscale business-sect restaurant about 50 miles from my house. I don't think Dwyre realized I lived that far away, and when he asked and I told him where I was coming from, he seemed to feel a little bad that he'd suggested that we meet where we did. But he shouldn't have. Not by a longshot.

    Beyond the fact that I don't really mind driving, anyway, the fact is that I would have gone practically anywhere that was within a day's drive if it meant I'd get to see and talk to Bill Dwyre again.

    After all, he was a former sports editor of mine, and I considered him a mentor, and more, really, thanks to several random acts of kindness that he committed on my behalf.

    Suffice to say that the LAT won't be the same without him.
    old_tony, KVV33, Ace and 12 others like this.
  6. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Excellent post. I wish I could get all the Gannett executives and other bean counter types to read your post. Not because it would affect their cold-hearted souls (they are past hope in that regard), but just to tell them that Mr. Dwyre is what true leadership is about. He is what true Journalism is about. For him to take that kind of interest in a person, to share his sources, help shape stories, help inspire writers younger them himself is truly what Journalism is supposed to be about. For him to take an interest in those who were laid off and follow up with them ... well his class is much appreciated. To all the asshole butt kissing executives out there, how bout recognizing the humanity of Bill Dwyre? He is what Journalism is all about. Random acts of kindness you say?? So rare from the executives in this profession, so rare from the 8 to 5 p.m.ers. Thank you for that post and thank the heavens for Bill Dwyre.
  7. Just the facts ma am

    Just the facts ma am Active Member

    I have heard second hand, but from a credible source, that Dwyre was not an advocate of diversity.
  8. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    Just the Facts: That is the perfect example of the cheap shot.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I can't speak about your source.

    I can only say that that was not my experience of Dwyre. I can also say that, that other reporter who was treated to a lunch meeting for purposes of advice, fellowship and a little bit of advance warning of probable coming events?

    He was of African-American descent, so...Dwyre apparently could treat everybody with respect and decency, any supposed contrary thoughts about diversity notwithstanding.

    My own thought on that, which I'll stress that I don't know irrefutably, is this: I doubt Dwyre had (or has) anything against diversity per se. He might not have loved the idea of hiring/advancement solely for the sake of it -- again, I do not know this with any certainty at all, because our conversations never covered such things -- but he would realize that he and his newsroom benefited from any diversity and diversity hiring imposed on it as a matter of course.

    This was especially true because the LAT has long boasted one of the best -- if not THE best, most coveted -- young minority-hiring systems in the country in its Minority Editorial Training Program (METPro). So really, it doesn't matter whether editors there like it or not. They will still benefit from it. I doubt there are any there who would say they haven't done so, and that goes for Dwyre, too.

    Now, MUST seemingly EVERY thread around here be turned into a discussion about race-related issues?

    Isn't it great just to have the opportunity to post something of substance and good about somebody without them having to have died before it happens? I'm a big believer in letting people know you value them -- especially if you really do, and it isn't just lip service or courtesy -- while they're still around to know and appreciate it. That's all I was trying to do here.

    I'm not and never was privy to Dwyre's every thought or sentiment. As I said, I was a relative nobody at the Times. And he's...not.

    But I would still go to meet with him again, anytime, anywhere, even all these years later.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Journalist Bill is a high quality man and journalist. He inherited a great staff when he came from Milwaukee and the coverage of the 1984 Olympics was a bellwether in sports journalism.

    I grew up in SoCal and soaked in the World Champion every morning, from Murray to Heisler to Litwin to Wojo to Downey to Mud and so many more. To Dufresne to Plaschke to Simers to Bresnahan.

    It was always a dream of mine to work there. Never happened. Didn't really come close, but for me it was the gold standard of sports journalism.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Best sports editor I ever worked for. Congrats and thanks, boss.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Don't sweat it. Your post was personal and heartfelt.

    The diversity shot could be leveled at 99 percent of sports editors if you go by the staff makeup.
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