Ansen De-Throned

Another big-name print critic has been trap-doored — Newsweek‘s David Ansen! One of the best critics in the country, certainly one of the wisest and most learned, a good fellow and a major voice on the big-time movie circuit since 1977 is being proverbially put out to pasture due to plummeting ad revenues and the general downswirling of dead-tree journalism. Ansen, 63, is one of 111 Newsweek staffers who accepted buyout deals last week.


Newsweek‘s David Ansen

Radar broke the story two or three hours ago. Variety‘s Anne Thompson is reporting that Ansen “will continue reviewing for the magazine until year’s end, at which point he starts a year-long contract as contributing editor delivering reviews and longer features.”
“Obviously the climate at newsmagazines is not great,” Ansen told Thompson. “More cost-cutting, more trimming.” He said he’s looking forward to writing books, teaching and “not going out to screenings every night,” he said. “I want to watch DVDs of movies I might actually like and read a book or two. Face it, a lot of movies are not that interesting to write about these days.”

20 thoughts on “Ansen De-Throned

  1. D.Z., are you confusing People Magazine with Newsweek? ‘Cause the Newsweek I know features news on politics, international affairs, the environment, and on and on. And there’s pop culture news. In the back. For five pages.
    Just like US Weekly. Right.
    Anyway, it’s a shame that Ansen’s going. Just proves that no one (except maybe Ebert) is safe from the print critic going the way of the dodo.

  2. I never cared one way or another about Ansen, but he’s right. If I were required to sit through everything Hollywood put out, I’d shoot myself.

  3. I’m glad Ansen has something good waiting for him – assuming the deal he made doesn’t become fubar – but it’s sad to see another knowledgable critic leaving because of cutbacks. While I may have disagreed with him, I always enjoyed reading him.

  4. D.Z. apparently has not looked at an issue of Newsweek in many years. The current editor has no use whatsoever for arts coverage, tabloid-style or classy. Ansen and the other talented entertainment writers there have been severely marginalized for a long time. I’m surprised they didn’t lay off every entertainment writer on staff, since they refuse to let any of them write anything. It’s sad.

  5. This seems as insane as firing Pete Hammond from Maxim. Does Newsweek not want publicity from film companies any more? Are they just going to stop film coverage altogether, or pay freelancers a pittance?
    I know from working in a theater that the public wants reviews to help them decide what to see. Yet publications seem to think no critic is worth it nowadays.
    Increasingly, I suspect the only ones who will continue to work are those prepared to do it as a hobby regardless of what their principal job is.

  6. Jeff!
    you needed to be at afi dallas today.
    they were discussing this very thing.
    would have loved to hear what you had to say.

  7. Newsweek understands that they won’t lose advertiser dollars by firing the movie reviewer and giving that inch count to the entertainment reporter to do fluff pieces on what’s hot with the kids.

  8. LYT wrote:
    This seems as insane as firing Pete Hammond from Maxim. Does Newsweek not want publicity from film companies any more? Are they just going to stop film coverage altogether, or pay freelancers a pittance?
    NEWSWEEK probably wants the kind of film coverage they got a decade ago from folks like Corie Brown and Jeff Giles–go-along/get-along.

  9. This seems as insane as firing Pete Hammond from Maxim. Does Newsweek not want publicity from film companies any more? Are they just going to stop film coverage altogether, or pay freelancers a pittance?

    I know from working in a theater that the public wants reviews to help them decide what to see. Yet publications seem to think no critic is worth it nowadays.

    Increasingly, I suspect the only ones who will continue to work are those prepared to do it as a hobby regardless of what their principal job is.

  10. “This seems as insane as firing Pete Hammond from Maxim.”
    You have got to be joking, comparing these two events. Letting Ansen go from Newsweek is 50 times as insane as firing Hammond from Maxim could ever be.

  11. Jeff!

    you needed to be at afi dallas today.
    they were discussing this very thing.
    would have loved to hear what you had to say.

  12. WOW. This is horrible. Ansen was always a solid guy–20,000 the writer and journo of the inexplicably-ever-employed Bunghola Dargis. Who’s next? Corliss? Turan? To quote Sir Ben Kingsley in his guest stint on the Sopranos. “Fu-uck!”

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