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July 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In a blog post, Rob Salem, who has been the TV critic for the Toronto Star for some 20 years, tells why he is not attending the summer tour of the Television Critics Association this year. Last April, his newspaper, he writes “decided in its infinite wisdom that it no longer needs a TV column, and thus no longer requires a TV critic.” He has not been fired, he goes on to explain. “I have been inexplicably re-assigned to the city desk, specifics as yet unknown.” He then remarks facetiously, “No doubt my decades of accumulated knowledge, contacts and perspective on the entertainment beat will serve me well in this new capacity.” Salem remarks that over the recent years he has seen other veteran TV critics face the same fate. “At least I still have a job. Others of my generation have not been so lucky. We’re a dying breed; an endangered species, edging ever closer to extinction. The dinosaurs couldn’t have been too happy about it either.” But that’s the nature of the newspaper business these days, cutbacks followed by more cutbacks. And, he concedes, perhaps newspaper executives are correct in their decision to eliminate TV critics from their payrolls. After all, he remarks, “These days, everybody’s a critic. The open-access internet has diluted and democratized comment and criticism to the point where any anonymous malcontent with an opinion and a URL has as much credibility as an actual, working, experienced professional. … Things change. We must accept and adapt, or die.”