Continuing the decade-long trend of traditional newspapers eliminating cultural reporters, the Dallas Morning News may eliminate the full time music critic position following the departure of the current professional occupying that spot, Scott Cantrell.
Cantrell recently accepted a buyout from the paper and ArtAndSeek.net published an article on 7/28/2015 by Jerome Weeks that details the transition along with examining where the field of cultural criticism is headed.
Cantrell’s articles have been regularly referenced here at Adaptistration; he was one of the few remaining traditional media music critics who was equally capable of reporting and investigating the steadily increasing pile of non-artistic topics that tend to trip up too many of his colleagues. On that point, I can’t think of a single interaction with him that wasn’t entirely professional; he has a knack for asking the right questions and it is always a pleasure to speak with him.
If nothing else, it is good to see he’ll be continuing with the paper for another season, albeit via a freelance basis, which he detailed in a response to Weeks’ article.
For now, although I’m taking the buyout, I’m glad to say the editors want me to stay on through next season on a reduced freelance basis. I will write less, but will try to give fair and representative coverage. This will give me the transitional period I’d actually hoped for, and give editors time to consider how they want to go forward with classical-music coverage. With the distinguished legacy of John Rosenfield and John Ardoin [previous DMN classical music critics], I obviously hope it will remain a full-time staff position. There certainly IS enough going on to validate it. We shall see…