Reader Reminiscences

On Fire: yeah, that was a weird time


My brief stint as the editor of The Reader came during a weird time for the celebrated weekly newspaper. Ask anyone who was around then, and they’ll tell you – “Yeah, that was a weird time.” Our distribution manager backed into my new Jeep. There were a half-dozen stray kittens bouncing from office to office. The Reader’s original publisher was fired by the new owner. And for about 60 seconds, there was a local quasi-stuntman on fire in the front parking lot. (It was a cover shoot, but for the life of me I can’t remember the cover’s feature.) That was during my first week there. Seriously. That all happened in a five-day span, and as it turned out, that was a typical week during my rein at The Reader. Hmm … I had arrived at The Reader fresh off a comfy job as entertainment columnist at the Omaha World-Herald. It was a big deal because I was a guy from the respected daily newspaper – “the establishment” – who left to work across town for a scrappy, let’s-ruffle-some-feathers alternative newsweekly. During that time, we headquartered out of the defunct KESY 104.5 FM radio station on the south side of 48th and Dodge streets. My office was one of the old recording studios, with the vintage noise-reducing shag carpet still on the walls. Loved that office. About the time of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, my time at The Reader ended. I went on to become the editor of two more alternative newsweeklies in Omaha, first the City Weekly and then Shout Weekly. Today, I juggle a few gigs. I publish The Dispatch (OmahaDispatch.com), a weekly entertainment e-newsletter that is emailed to 40,583 subscribers each Thursday morning. I am also currently a freelance copywriter for Omaha Steaks and Hayneedle.com. And every once in a while I’ll knock out an e-Book or build a website for a local business (ByTheWords.com). I’m looking forward to 2015 and the new for-mat for this longstanding Omaha publication. Congrats on this 20th anniversary!

— Jim Minge


Category: Specials

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