Mariotti didn’t have to be a jerk
Instead of quietly arranging his departure by giving his editors sufficient advance notice to manage a smooth transition, he boorishly announced his decision to the competing Chicago media by babbling into every microphone in sight that “I don't think either paper is going to survive.”
(By at least one account, Jay actually quit in a snit because his editor rejected an idea for an upcoming column.)
Jay is right that both the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune are fighting to sustain circulation and sales.
But Chicago needs its newspapers. And the less-celebrated (and less well compensated) people who work at them still need their jobs.
Jay’s parting shot didn’t help the readers or employees who rely on the papers, because his comments may make it a little harder than it already is to sell enough ads and newspapers.
After being a high-profile columnist at the Sun-Times for 17 years, Jay owed more than the back of his hand to a newspaper that put him in the professional and financial position to stalk off in a huff.
If he had any manners, Jay would know that a graceful departure pays more dividends over time than acting like a jerk.
But he doesn’t. So he did.