Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feature Writer Kevin Kittredge Leaving Paper

Kevin Kitterege
Kevin Kittredge, a solid feature reporter who covered the arts beat for the local daily for a number of years, is leaving the publication "to focus on personal writing projects, which including making a serious effort to sell his three unpublished novels," according to an internal memo.

Kittredge, who is a musician in his spare time, has been with the paper for 23 years. He has worked for papers in Radford, Florida, California, Arkansas and Memphis. He took a break from journalism in 1988 to write fiction, took a job as a freelance writer for a Roanke daily and ultimately went to work fulltime for the newspaper. He has worked at bureaus in the New River and Shenandoah Valleys and became the arts reporter in 1994, covering the building of the Taubman museum of Art in 2008.

He is quoted as saying, “I leave my full-time job here with no regrets and much gratitude. This is the by far the nicest place I’ve ever worked.” His previous job was in hell. Just kidding.

Kittredge will write as a freelancer for the paper.

It has not been a good week for the local paper, losing its highest producing business reporter, the New River editor and a sports copy editor and now a key feature writer.


  1. I wonder if they have any openings...

  2. Newt: The memo strongly suggested the job would be filled. The question, though, is "who would work there?"

  3. Who would want to work there? You did. The Roanoke Times is where you got your break in the biz

  4. Anon: Please have the courtesy and the courage to use your name here. I did not get "your break" at that publication. Whatever breaks I got, came in spite of the repression there. I do not recall any encouragement, advice, mentoring or anything else that anyone would consider as leading to "your break." Whatever I have done, and I'm not sure what that is, I have worked to accomplish. I was never given anything by that organization except directions to the door.

  5. Who'd work there? Fuck that, Dan. Many people got breaks at the ROAT. I got loads of encouragement, advice, mentoring and more....

    -- Joe Eaton

  6. Joe:
    Your experience was certainly different from mine and from that of a fairly large contingent of people who have left there in disgust over the past two or three years (and often told me the details of the leaving). I hear frequently from people still there about the stifling atmosphere and the rampant fear in the newsroom. It saddens me. This is a wonderful profession and should be allowed to be so. I'm happy you're happy.

  7. I'm disappointed to hear of the grumbling going on at the RT. Without getting yourself into trouble Dan, to what can you attribute the discontent?
    No doubt it is a top down thing , but is the source from the parent company or is it local? I've always enjoyed the RT and think they do a pretty good job for an area this size.

  8. Scott: I don't think I can answer your question as precisely as you'd like. All my information on this topic these days is second-hand (I get quite a bit of it), though before I left there to start the current venture, it was first-hand. From what I can determine, not much has changed: there seems to be a heavy-handed, top-down management style that has little concern for or respect of the individual. Questioning decisions is simply not tolerated (it should be encouraged). Many of the troops have expressed dismay at decisions involving news and features and go to work scared of losing their jobs on a daily basis. Newspaper people are chronically discontent, but from what I understand, that discontent, anxiety and fear are at biblical levels in this case. There are lower level people who seem happy and say so. There are a few who have been there a long time, either a testament to their level of tolerance or, frankly, a sign they like where they work. Who knows? But I do know what I hear directly and that is usually not so hot.