Saturday, August 1, 2015

A great send-off for a great journalist

A great send-off for a great journalist

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I've said it here befoire: It's hard to deal with goodbyes for so many talented journalists -- and friends -- over these last few years. I probably could write about a good man or woman leaving the business, or at least leaving the Philadelphia newspapers, a couple of times a week, so -- quite unfairly -- my farewell shoutouts are pretty erratic. That's an apology to the many folks I've missed.

But I couldn't let my good friend Kevin Bevan walk out the door without saying something. Kevin is one of those people who -- if you read newspapers (or newspaper websites) but never worked at one -- you probably didn't know existed. But somebody has to decide where all those articles actually go and most importantly, assemble a front page that will make random hoagie-seekers at the Wawa want to splurge and pick up a newspaper. At the Daily News., Kevin was the news editor who was that behind-the-scenes guy, and, as the best thing to come out of  Pottsville since the Maroons, he was amazingly good at it, when he wasn't reviewing last night's "Daily Shoiw," or kibitzzing about the obscurities of 1960s AM Top 40 radio.

There's a premium these days on folks like Kevin -- who worked here for 31 years, since the came over from the folding of the Bulletin -- and he took the bait, also known as the buyout. But this story diverges from those other goodbye stories in one other way. He left with a surge of attention.

As Gawker explained, you can thank a couple of  boobs:

The true-crime tale was unbelievable: Two stolen cop cars! A two-state police chase. Two suspects charged with a litany of offenses! So many bad decisions, you might even say they'd acted like ... two idiots? A tandem of nitwits?

Or: A COUPLE OF BOOBS.

"It was an amazing story," said Philadelphia Daily News news editor Kevin Bevan over the phone this week. Bevan doesn't know exactly who found the Facebook photo of Blake Bills in a tank top and Shayna Sykes in what looks like a bikini top—whether it was Daily News graphics editor Jon Snyder, or reporter Stephanie Farr, or if it'd already been floating around online. But once that image had been identified as Wednesday's possible cover, there it was, tabloid destiny, bright as two beach balls:

Read the whole thing, especially the last paragraph.As I wrote last year when my friend Wendy Ruderman left for the New York Times, I'm at the age where it's a consolation to know you're saying goodbye to someone who'll be on the other side of town, not, um, the other side, period. But still, as I walked into the office tonight to begin my Sunday editing shift,, I remembered that Kevin would not be there to fix every liittle problem that cropped up, and I felt a little panicked. I think that says it all.

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Will Bunch
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