Cleveland loses its last music critic

Cleveland loses its last music critic


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2020

We’re hearing that Zachary Lewis has been laid off in the latest round of cuts at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is among 22 newsroom staff to be let go.

That leaves the internationally renowned Cleveland Orchestra without coverage in its local newspaper.

Lewis was also the paper’s fitness columnist.

Cleveland can now go flabby.


Zach says: Thanks, all you wonderful people, for your kind words Friday upon my early retirement from The Plain Dealer. Your generous sentiments softened the blow of an ugly day. Even during this unusual and now, for me, additionally trying time, I have to say it’s comforting to feel so much warmth from so many sources. I’m one lucky guy.




  • Miracle says:

    This is sad news, but he was – luckily – not writing for the PAIN dealer, even though some reviews might suggest so….

  • V.Lind says:

    Hard to see how this job could have been saved when the Orchestra is closed down?

    Wonder how the sports staff is faring.

  • Minnesota says:

    Not the “last critic.” The website has been in business since 2008 and is supported by foundations and other donations. It includes reviews and news of the local classical scene and appears to have very respectable coverage.

  • her royal snarkiness says:

    The Plain Dealer’s problems long predate the virus. This is a purge of union staff and it is ugly.

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      Indeed. Very few (if any) major newspapers have a full time (or even a part time stringer) classical music critic on staff.

      This is more the sign of times and the dumbing down of American culture.