NBCC board member Geeta Sharma-Jensen has announced that she has accepted a voluntary buyout offer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Making the decision to leave my job as books editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was difficult. But the voluntary buyout offer (the fourth one) that our newspaper made several weeks ago was so generous and came at such a good time for so many long-time reporters and critics like me that many of us chose to take it. So, on Monday I am officially gone from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as books editor. But I’m not totally gone from the paper. I will continue to write about books and other matters for the Journal Sentinel on a freelance basis and may write for other publications as well. This gives me the time I was craving to work on some personal writing projects while still allowing me the opportunity and freedom to continue writing a bit about the book world. It’s a good place to be.
“In all, five of us—four critics and a TV columnist—in the arts & entertainment area took the buyout. That leaves only the film critic and the art & architecture critic on staff. What will happen to our books section? Plans are to fold it into one big features section on Sundays. Books coverage also will be more local, and I expect it to be overseen by the assistant entertainment and features editor who will be responsible for all A&E coverage. It’s all shaking out at the moment. But you can be sure of one thing: the Journal Sentinel is not abandoning books or other A&E coverage.”
Sharma-Jensen’s complete farewell column can be read here.