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Orlando-No more Scott Joseph

winechic Jul 16, 2008 12:15 PM

Just heard Scott Joseph was laid off from the Sentinel. Love him or hate him, it's a loss.

  1. h
    hppygyrl18 Jan 2, 2009 08:22 AM

    I just subscribed to the Orlando Sentinal and realized that Scott Joseph was no longer there. Looks like Heather McPherson is taking on a bunch of duties now. Good luck filling those shoes....

    2 Replies
    1. re: hppygyrl18
      jword2001 Jan 18, 2009 07:49 AM

      You can find Scott here, better than ever http://www.scottjosephorlando.com/

      1. re: jword2001
        yellekscorp Feb 3, 2009 08:24 PM

        i wish Scott would have his picks for the foodie awards on his website. Heather's picks didn't seem to reflect much in the way of a true foodie.

    2. winechic Aug 3, 2008 08:54 AM

      Those of us flipping through the Sunday Sentinel saw the large banner announcing Heather McPherson, Food Editor, is taking over the dining reviews.

      Heather's Intro:


      Seems the Sentinel will be keeping Heather very busy!!


      1. y
        yellekscorp Jul 27, 2008 03:56 AM

        looks like his last review was today. He left in style. Also with a great review of a new restaurant, chef's table in winter garden.

        2 Replies
        1. re: yellekscorp
          herbert1 Jul 27, 2008 06:36 AM

          Yep, Chefs Table at Edgewater Hotel table really does do a good job. I completely agree with the review.


          1. re: yellekscorp
            jword2001 Jul 27, 2008 07:50 AM

            Yes, definitely a classy goodbye.

          2. winechic Jul 21, 2008 10:18 AM

            Scott Maxwell (Taking Names column in the Sentinel) had been on The Phillips Phile (104.1) talking about Scott Joseph last week when I originally posted. They mentioned a possible board/blog interactive online source for the Sentinel ratings, where the public's feedback would rate the local places, taking the place of an on staff critic.

            The Foodie awards were always interesting to see Scott vs. the public. I saw there were 2 of his columns this weekend, wonder how many he had in the can?

            5 Replies
            1. re: winechic
              waffle789 Jul 22, 2008 11:01 AM

              Does anyone really think that feedback from the public is an adequate susbtitute for a professional food critic?

              to paraphrase what Winechic said in the original post, love them or hate them, pro critics have the accountability of writing under their own names (unlike anonymous "reader reviews," which are frequently restaurant staffers juking their own stats or running down their rivals), not to mention long-term experience and a (for most critics, anyway) a basic grounding in food writing, instead of "this place sux."

              Not that I always or even often agreed with Scott. (I prefer Faiyaz Kara in the Orlando Weekly) But I simply don't trust "public feedback."

              1. re: waffle789
                jdc111 Jul 23, 2008 12:20 PM

                The public are idiots who prefer Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, and McDonald's. This does not preclude, however, some good feedback from foodies. It will probably, however, be lost amongst the rampant idiocy that inhabits many internet user forums.

                1. re: jdc111
                  jword2001 Jul 24, 2008 04:51 AM

                  I'm curious, how do these peoples preferences make them "idiots"?, could it be that these folks cant afford to eat at better places, or could there be many other factors in their preferences?, calling them idiots seems a bit harsh,and uncalled for.

                  1. re: jword2001
                    Potomac Bob Aug 3, 2008 01:58 PM

                    Whether to trust reviews, written by a pro or not, really depends on your experience with an individual critic. There are some newspapers that will only review places that advertise in their paper. There are some who will only allow positive reviews, never negative ones, on the stated grounds that they're trying to provide readers with tips on places to go, not places to avoid. Does the newspaper insist that the newspaper itself will pay for the meals - or do the reviewers accept freebies? Or even more? It takes time to build trust for an individual reviewer - professional or amateur. Newspapers are in economic trouble. Good reviews can bring in advertising money. Allowing reporters to accept freebies can reduce expenses, and maybe allow the newspaper to actually keep a food reviewer on staff; But it damages reliability. Some amateurs do a really good job of reviewing restaurants; just look at the boards on Chowhound. Some amateurs - and some pros - don't provide much information that is helpful. I believe it was Craig Claiborne at the New York Times who persuaded the paper in the 1950s that the paper would have much more credibility if it paid for meals. But, there was book by Karen and John Hess (The Taste of America, 1975) that alleged that Claiborne and others (such as James Beard) were influenced by money paid to them for endorsements or other commercial connections by companies in the food business.

                    1. re: jword2001
                      jdc111 Jul 28, 2009 03:16 PM

                      There are plenty of locally-owned options out there, at the same price points as the restaurants I mentioned, with infinitely better food and service than those chains. Instead of Olive Garden, hit Il Pescatore. Instead of Pizza Hut, hit up Brick & Fire. Instead of McDonalds, hit up Jazzy Dog Cafe or Cecil's BBQ or Graffiti Junktion.

              2. b
                beteez Jul 20, 2008 08:11 AM

                He had a new column online today & mentioned a future review of the Wave.

                6 Replies
                1. re: beteez
                  rudykins Jul 21, 2008 08:53 AM

                  While I don't know Scott personally, Beteez, we have many business friends in common and they have all confirmed that he is one of many who was handed walking papers last week. The rumor is true, and it's a shame.

                  1. re: rudykins
                    bcodom Jul 21, 2008 10:49 AM

                    Do you know if Mike Thomas was also handed his walking papers?

                    1. re: bcodom
                      rudykins Jul 21, 2008 02:30 PM

                      I don't know. The only other confirmation I have is Mark Pinskey, who did a brilliant job covering the religion beat.

                    2. re: rudykins
                      herbert1 Jul 23, 2008 08:59 AM

                      I've heard it from numerous sources and have seen an email from SJ that confirms that he is 'accepting a buyout of his contract'. I have heard that Mike Thomas was let go as well, but do not have confirmation of that.

                      1. re: herbert1
                        jdc111 Jul 23, 2008 12:17 PM

                        I just read in the Orlando Weekly that about 10 employees, Scott Joseph among them, took buyouts worth 2 weeks pay for every year they were employed. I looked forward to his reviews on Fridays and Sundays and his news about local restaurant happenings. He trashed some good places and had some ridiculous notions, but I respected his opinion and his tastes.

                        1. re: jdc111
                          herbert1 Jul 23, 2008 02:13 PM

                          I almost always agreed with his reviews of the food. His comments on service and atmosphere were sometimes offbase in my opinion. We will get a few more reviews from him, he and his entourage were out this past week evaluating new restaurants.

                  2. jword2001 Jul 18, 2008 05:46 AM

                    I hate to see him go, his column was one of the only reasons to get the Sunday edition

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jword2001
                      mountdorahound Jul 18, 2008 08:00 AM

                      I noticed recently that his columns were becoming fewer and further between. i sensed a riff. He did have those famous pet peaves, over medium rare burgers, tacky decor,, yeah. It would be nice if we could have him on the chowhound board! Hey scott if you are reading let us know!!

                    2. j
                      juggler Jul 17, 2008 11:15 AM

                      Is there any source that everyone is hearing this from?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: juggler
                        shardan01 Jul 17, 2008 12:24 PM

                        I found his name on this local blogger's layoff list: http://eyeonthesentinel.blogspot.com/...

                      2. w
                        waffle789 Jul 17, 2008 07:29 AM

                        restaurant reviews are a huge profit center for publications -- I can't believe the Sentinel would stop running them altogether.

                        Scott was there for 20 years, and was probably making a nice salary. More likely they're replacing him with someone they can pay less.

                        A very sad trend, not just for newspapers but for all businesses. How can anyone feel secure in his job?

                        1. y
                          yellekscorp Jul 16, 2008 08:05 PM

                          that's really sad to hear---definitely enjoyed his column. is this really true???

                          1. j
                            jadea3 Jul 16, 2008 02:12 PM

                            I just heard that too. It's a trend of old-school media. They're all cutting costs wherever they can. I personally think they could have cut any number of other reporters instead...

                            1. b
                              britterbeezer Jul 16, 2008 01:49 PM

                              are they replacing him, or just not having a food critic? the sentinel sucks hard, but it was nice getting his opinion on restaurants.

                              1. lauderdale75 Jul 16, 2008 01:07 PM

                                Wow - this is really sad to hear.

                                While I didnt necessarily agree with him all the time, it's even more sad to see the degradation in quality of the Sentinel and all of the Tribune Company newspapers. Most recently the editor in chief of the LA Times stepped down after the Times (courtesy of Sam Zell) downsized much of its staff.

                                Scott Joseph was one of the highlights of reading the Sentinel - I really think there is little left to salvage.

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