Tom Blair, a veteran Metro columnist at U-T San Diego, is no longer with the paper, sources said today.
Two people who wish to remain anonymous because the U-T has not announced the move confirmed Blair and the paper parted ways.
They said Blair was asked to scale his column back to a day or two a week from three days. He balked. I’m told this happened late last week. I’m also told Blair and U-T executive editor Jeff Light have started talking again and there is a chance he could return. We’ve asked Light about all of this and will update this post if he responds.
Emails to Blair bounce back. If you click on “News” on the paper’s website you no longer find Blair listed under columnists. His last column was April 22. His second from last column included this zinger:
The critics: City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s labor union stalkers were out again on Tuesday, protesting during the would-be mayor’s annual “Tax Day BBQ” at downtown’s Kansas City Barbecue. Also on the scene: three British Airways pilots who asked the protesters why they oppose DeMaio. “He wants to get rid of government pensions,” said one. “Sounds like a great idea,” a captain shot back. “Maybe then you can fix your damn roads here.”
The U-T has undergone a series of changes under new owner Papa Doug Manchester, who recently announced the organization is close to launching U-T TV.
Blair’s bio says he “grew up in San Diego and is a journalism graduate of San Diego State University, wrote his city columns for the San Diego Union-Tribune for two decades before being named editor of San Diego Magazine. After leaving the magazine, he returned (two years ago) to his U-T city column.”
A 2010 San Diego CityBeat story on Blair’s return to the U-T asked: “Can the three-dot columnist revive the Union-Tribune’s fortunes?”