The Reader got a fair amount of coverage for laying off four writers last week, myself included (there was some earlier when the creative and hard-working production department was outsourced and when the drivers were converted from employees to freelancers).
It's always nice to be agonized over; hear from long-lost friends, acquaintances, and colleagues; and mull over how on earth journalism is going to be paid for. But much of the paper has always been written by freelancers, and losing my job gave me a chance to chat with one of the best, Lee Sandlin, who has a gorgeous web site. IMO any list of the ten best stories the Reader ever published should include "The Invisible Man," AKA the cat story. You don't have anything better to do today than read it.
And while you're there, the site's dedication offers quite a different take on (a) the paper's currently embattled editor, and (b) the single quality that -- more than any individual writer -- has made it special over the years: the willingness to break our own rules if that's what it takes to bring you good reading.
It's not for me to say whether the Reader can get along without Conroy and Marlan and Bogira and me. But to the extent that it loses that willingness -- which has dwindled but not vanished in recent years -- it will be walking dead, no matter who's on the masthead.