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RIP, Mike Levine, editor in Middletown, N.Y.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Frank_Ridgeway, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Heart attack at 54. Also worked at ESPN mag.


    Met him once. Very decent guy.
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I detest when an obit doesn't have a photo.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    There's a huge one on the home page.
  4. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    That's sad. RIP.
  5. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Wow. What a ... depthy... quote with that home-page photo.

    RIP, sir.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    So you're saying this thread is ....?

    RIP, BTW.
  7. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Mike was the heart and soul of the newsroom. Not often you can say that about a top editor.
  8. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Mike interviewed me for a job I wasn't really qualified for, but he said he had to meet me after reading my cover letter. I'd been through dozens of job interviews by that point in my career -- sometimes they are memorable in the sense that you take something with you whether you get/take the job or not.

    I've met and worked for lots of editors who view readers as an exotic species from outer space: what do they want, how do we reach them? Some are genuinely baffled and try to cover up by pretending they know the answer. Some are like carnival barkers who view their potential customers as rubes to be fleeced: maybe this will rope them in. Levine wasn't like that; he respected the readers as thinking beings not much different than him.

    We sat in his office that day and talked about journalism and his audience. He said, "Our readers work hard. A lot of them spend four hours a day commuting into Manhattan. A lot of the people who work around here have to work two and three jobs. We have to give them something that's worth their time."

    He must have had a cold that day because he sounded nasal and goofy, and I was tempted to laugh as he tried to talk about serious things while sounding a bit like Donald Duck. But I couldn't because there was too much sincerity coming through. I still do not agree with some of the directions he took that newspaper, but he knew his readers on a more personal level than most, and his choices came from a sense of empathy with them rather than a spirit of trickery.
  10. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Wow. That is a shocker. I had an informal interview with him once (meaning no actual job opening) and I was very impressed with Levine. He gave me some great advice and even though I wasn't on his staff, he actually took time to challenge me and suggest how I could get better at my craft. Left me wishing I had gotten the opportunity to work for him.

    He also really seemed to be taking a progressive approach with that paper.


    Edit: I just saw Frank's post. Sounds like a very similar experience to my own. I didn't agree 100 percent with everything the guy said, but I really appreciated his approach to journalism.
  11. boots

    boots New Member

    Talked with him once. Seemed like a nice guy. The industry lost a good one.
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