New York twitters over fired Times critic

New York twitters over fired Times critic


norman lebrecht

February 23, 2017

The one known fact is that Charles Isherwood, the number two theatre critic, was dismissed on February 3 after executives ordered a scan of his emails.

No reason has been given for his dismissal. Speculation is rife.

Read it here.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    Why stop with Isherwood? Have the Times editors considered looking into the emails of Anthony Tommasini? Anyone who reads his sham reviews can easily infer that he is in the pockets of the Metropolitan Opera and/or the agents for artists who sing there.

  • John says:

    Norman – you do realise Ungeheuer’s comment is almost certainly actionable? Sure you want to leave it up?

    • Ross says:

      Tomassini has his own agenda and is woefully out of touch with the concertgoing public. It would be wise to fire him.
      His reviews are predictable, based on the performers and program.

      • Steinway Fanatic says:

        Well, Ross, I’m not sure if your misspelling of Mr. Tommasini’s name was deliberate or not… But you are correct, he’s totally obsessed with his own agenda (which is formed by his severely limited knowledge and provincial tastes), and he doesn’t give a damn about the concert-going public. He simply wants to beat his readers (and performers) over the head to embrace modern music, which has caused the public to turn a blind eye to his reviews.

    • Save the MET says:

      No it’s not, public figure who writes public reviews. Absolutely a waste of lawyers fees with zero likelihood of success. Tommasini is paid to leave his opinion and this individual chose to criticize the critic, big deal.

      • laurie says:

        I agree. Not actionable in the US but the laws in England are different. That’s why many public figures sue for libel in the UK. And win.

        • Chrstopher Stager says:

          Absolutely, Laurie. My firm, for example, is suing the Daily Mirror. Because the case is on-going, I can’t mention our client’s name, but she is the First Lady of a very major North American country. And The Mirror’s slanders could cost her lucrative endorsement deals.

  • Paul Thomason says:

    Most chilling quote from the link: “The ad for the position [to replace Isherwood] asked for candidates who’d work well with editors, interact with readers, and explore ‘new story forms.’ It also included the line: ‘While a background writing about theater is a plus, it is not a prerequisite’ ” How long before the TIMES is hiring “critics” for their arts coverage who also cover gardening clubs and write stories about Cute Baby Contests?

    • Steinway Fanatic says:

      Are relevant qualifications required for any jobs anymore? The most powerful nation on earth has a crooked real estate developer for a president – who has stocked his cabinet with a pack of wealthy nincompoops.

  • Willian says:

    I’d suggest that the Times knew that the search of emails would disturb its employees — and rightly so — and would not have taken this course unless the problem was substantial. There’s just too much at risk for the organization in terms of employee relations. So this wasn’t about a squabble or even backbiting. And all the personality conflict that’s been reported reads like a smokescreen of bad rationales to distract from something inexcusable.