Rob Kuznia, the former Daily Breeze reporter who won a Pulitizer Prize last week, was interviewed by NPR's Scott Simon on Saturday about why he left the Breeze and the newspaper business. Kuznia expands on what he told me the day of the Pulitzer news — that as reporter at a small, shrinking newspaper the future just didn't look bright. And he likes his job now as a publicist for the USC Shoah Foundation.
A snippet from the interview on Weekend Edition:
KUZNIA: It's not that I couldn't pay the rent, it's just that there wasn't much left after that. And my girlfriend and I were sort of just living paycheck-to-paycheck and doing just fine, you know. We weren't destitute, but we were saving nothing. And so yes, pay was definitely a big factor. And I think the other one, the other major factor, was more of a state-of-the-industry consideration interrelated with the pay issue. Print journalism, especially at the local level, is a scary place to be right now. And it felt like now that I'm pushing 40, it might be a good time to try something new and to obtain a new skill set.
SIMON: And there have been cutbacks at The Daily Breeze, I gather, in recent years?
KUZNIA: Yes. You know, roughly speaking, I would say in five or six years they've probably gone from 20 reporters down to five. They have seven slots, so they want to fill those two other slots, but there's only five reporters there now.
Photo: Daily Breeze Pulitzer winners Frank Suraci, Rob Kuznia and Rebecca Kimitch. Daily Breeze photo: Robert Casillas