The pool of Gotham legit critics got a little shallower Tuesday, as word circulated that longtime critic Jacques le Sourd had been let go at the Journal News.
Legiters were abuzz with the news, although no official confirmation came from the Journal News, based in New York state’s Hudson Valley, or from parent company Gannett.
As print publications buckle under the weight of the current economy, legit critics have witnessed a mass exodus in recent weeks: Michael Sommers of New Jersey’s Star-Ledger took a buyout; Eric Grode lost his gig when his paper, the New York Sun, folded; Jeremy McCarter left the theater critic post at New York Magazine for the culture beat at Newsweek; and Clive Barnes, a major figure in performing arts journalism and the longtime critic at the New York Post, died.
The New York Drama Critics Circle, the group of journos that hands out awards every spring, stands at 18 voting members, according to org prexy and Time Out New York critic Adam Feldman. Tally is down from 22 members earlier this fall.
Le Sourd had been with Gannett for more than 30 years. It’s not yet clear how the Journal News plans to cover Broadway in his absence, although many assume the outlet will use reviews from wire services Associated Press or Bloomberg.
That’s also the plan at the Star Ledger, while the Post has said the paper is on the lookout for a replacement for Barnes. New York Magazine is trying out multiple critics on the legit beat.
News of the loss of one more critic escalated concern among legiters who have watched media coverage of the industry continue to shrink over the years.