Changes and a deleted post at Studio City Patch

Studio City Patch columnist Susan McMartin wrote a post about her gratis column being dropped and her "dear friend and editor, Mike Szymanski," being let go as the site's editor. You can read it on a caching site, but not on Studio City Patch. Here's an excerpt:

Even when they stopped paying columnists to write I stayed. Even in recent months since the site has been taken over, the look has slowly changed, no one gets paid for their columns, anyone can blog, and trying to find past columns, photos or videos is impossible... I stayed. I stayed because of my love, loyalty and gratitude for Studio City Mom, my readers and my friend and editor, Mike Szymanski.

But, with the news of Mike being fired for no reason other than they can find someone else who will do it for almost no money... that's when I say, enough.

They can hire a "body" to be the new editor but what they lose in letting Mike go is a man who put his heart and soul into Studio City Patch. Who made it the most popular of all the Patch sites. Who lives in our community, has children in our schools, covers more stories, drives more miles, takes more pictures, gives more time and money from his own pocket than anyone ever would and does so for very little income and very little attention. He stands in the dark letting Studio City Patch get the praise and glory and that has always been enough for him.

Then today at Studio City Patch, Szymanski's name is on a post strongly suggesting he has not been fired. He announced that Matt Sanderson, previously of the Patch site for Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, would be "joining me on Studio City."

I'll still be posting, but Matt will be writing a lot of the routine news coverage.

I'll be taking on new duties with Brentwood and Hollywood, along with other Patch communities.

I tried to get some clarification of all this from Szymanski, but he replied that he has been told to pass all inquiries up the chain to his editor. Who, in turn, brought in the flack in New York. Neither has clarified things yet. Patch, as you may know, has been undergoing some nationwide upheaval — getting rid of lots of local sites and laying off editors.

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