A current Craig's List job posting by Yellow Scene, a magazine that calls itself "104th North's only source for arts, entertainment and muckraking," sports the headline, "Fill Jim Spencer's Big Shoes." The item goes on to laud Spencer, a former Denver Post columnist whose ouster during last year's cost-cutting frenzy was documented in More Messages blogs accessible here and here. "We knew we couldn't keep Jim Spencer as the marquee columnist for Yellow Scene magazine forever," the anonymous author acknowledges. "He was looking for full-time work -- and he just landed a job that prohibits him from freelancing. We're happy for him, yet we'll miss him just that same."
Where did Spencer land? In the same place plenty of other displaced scribes have wound up lately -- another profession.
Spencer -- who also wrote for the Colorado Confidential website following his departure from the Post, as noted in a More Messages update -- fills in the details on his personal website, SpencerSpeaks.com. In a February column labeled "Moving on Sadly But Proudly," he writes, "I have taken a job as the communications director of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and, as such, can no longer publicly offer personal opinions on issues that might hurt the school."
The column with which Spencer launched his site in July 2007 boasted an angry tone: "I am pissed off," he conceded at one point. In contrast, his farewell piece is kind and gentle, particularly toward Post editor Greg Moore, about whom he'd previously shared his severe disappointment. "Finally, I thank every colleague who inspired me and every editor who hired me, including the one who fired me," he writes. He concludes by noting that "I exit Eden sadly but proudly and hope that my new plan takes me to a place I love just as much."
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These days, of course, plenty of newspaper types would characterize Eden as any job outside the journalism business -- and they'd view Spencer as a lucky man. -- Michael Roberts