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May 28, 2008

Paper Gets Grief From Readers Over Online-Only Opera Review

Readers were quick to jump on the Sacramento Bee when a review of Sacramento Opera's Tosca ran online only.

They said The Bee was sending mixed signals, because it had run an extensive "Tosca" preview in Ticket, and they were anticipating a follow-up review in the paper. "I want you to know that I think it's grossly ignorant of The Bee to stop printing arts reviews in the paper by moving them to the Internet," e-mailed Darryl McGuire of Sacramento. "It's also a complete disservice to the struggling arts organizations of Sacramento, e.g., Sacramento Opera, Ballet and Philharmonic to name a few. What kind of warped thinking is this with today's declining newspaper business? Are you now trying to rid yourself of your most loyal readers?

But it turns out the review was supposed to run in the print version after all.

Turns out there was a mistake and the review should have been in the paper, said Managing Editor Tom Negrete, who oversees Ticket and the Scene section. He said he was to blame for the miscommunication.

That doesn't mean that there aren't changes coming in the way the paper runs reviews.

Negrete only recently took over supervision of the features department and he has had ongoing discussions with editors there about changes.

He said he wants to emphasize more in-depth coverage of the arts via personality and issue pieces, for example, that interest more readers beyond those who are ardent fans of the opera or the theater.

Reviews still will be printed in the paper, he said, particularly of shows with multiple performances.

What he wants to stop are reviews of one-night stands, where a performer or event are long gone by the time the review is published.

May 28, 2008 12:16 PM | | Comments (0)

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