The circling turkey vultures of corporate newspaper ownership landed in Fort Worth this week. Among the downsized Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at the Star-Telegram was its consumer “watchdog” columnist, Dave Lieber.
Lieber is the 2002 recipient of the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and is secretary of the NSNC Education Foundation. He has held a number of positions on the NSNC board of directors and hosted the society’s 2005 annual conference in Grapevine, Texas. He writes the educational column “You, the Columnist” bimonthly in the society’s newsletter, The e-Columnist. Lieber has been a finalist five times in the annual NSNC Column Contest, taking first place one of those years.
Lieber told the Fort Worth Weekly in an article published Wednesday, Jan. 9, that will continue writing pieces for his Watchdog Nation website. News about him also can be found on his Facebook page. He tweets at @DaveLieber.
The reportage-based columnist left with old-fashioned manners, telling the weekly, “I thank the paper for giving me 20 of the most exciting years a guy could ever have in Texas. The Star-Telegram prepared me for the rest of my life – to help people.”
The Poynter Institute’s Latest News media news aggregator all but named Lieber and other journalists like him in its article posted Tuesday, when it quoted a memo by Publisher Gary Wortel as saying, “Some single incumbent positions will be eliminated.” In general though, the McClatchy-owned metro daily is offering severance packages to employees who leave voluntarily and will not fill some open positions, before general layoffs commence, the “least-tenured” booted first.
Earlier Wednesday, Lieber, who gives speeches across the country, told columnists.com that he “just signed papers to incorporate my newest non-profit,” the Texas Ethics League, and formed its five-member board of directors. It will be a nonpartisan group whose motto will be “the conscience of Texas.”
Now come the jokes, he wrote in an email. “Texas ethics, I know! Really?”
But you know he’s serious.