Best of the Beat, Part III Farewells

We’ve had to say goodbye to some good folks at the Argus since the Beat started. Here are a couple of the farewells:
rob.JPGThe fellow pictured on the right is our city editor, Rob Dennis. Sadly for the seven or so editorial folks still left at The Argus, this is his last day on the job.

Loyal Tri-City Beat readers might remember Rob as the angry guy whose lone venomous post about a bogus BART parking ticket triggered an avalanche of anti-BART rants.

But Rob is more than just a hater. He’s our best investigator, most seasoned reporter and sharpest editorial writer. He’s also our resident beer guzzler, chain smoker and card shark.

Rob has shared major awards for a series about mortgage lenders discriminating against minorities, and coverage of the Rodney Blach trial. Later this month, we’ll print a four-part series that is mostly his work.

Rob came to The Argus eight years ago after a distinguished tenure as a Wal-Mart sales associate and several years living off the dole in his native Ireland.

Starting Wednesday, he returns to his roots — mooching off other people’s tax dollars.

Rob was one of about 100 MediaNews-East Bay (our parent company) employees who took a buyout last week as our newsroom continues to shrink.

He’ll collect unemployment, freelance a little and eventually head over to Prague to work on a documentary film. He says it’ll be about Eastern Europe 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but word on the street is that it’s really a first-person piece on how former Communist bloc countries have kept beer prices under $1 a pint.

We might have to start a liver transplant fund for him.

In case anyone cared, Rob never did pay that parking ticket. BART backed down in the face of Rob’s irrefutable evidence and exasperated sighs. It was a big pain in the butt, but in the end, it was worth it. We hope that’s how Rob will come to look back on his time at The Argus.

Hey, Rob! Take care, buddy. We’ll miss you.

Matt Artz


  1. Anecdotal survey I just completed – BANG BLOGGERS respond 10:1 in favor of TRI CITY topics versus POLITICS. . . .

    Seems like there is an order of magnitude greater interest in local issues.

    Does this suggest that Argus would garner more readership and greater attention if they focussed greater real-estate on local issues instead of printing (reprinting ?) the wire stuff that we get 200 ways from Sunday anyway ?????

  2. Bbox231, I agree a greater focus on Tri-city issues could bolster readership for the Argus. Unfortunately, the Argus is our “local” paper in name only. You could strip in the masthead for the Daily Review, Contra Costa Times or any of the other Bay Area-owned MediaNewsGroup papers. The local news staffs are almost virtually non-existent. Matt Artz is not on vacation. He is on a two-week furlough mandated by MNG management. That’s why if you look at the Local page of the Argus you will see stories out of San Leandro, San Lorenzo, etc. The reporters of the Daily Review just rotated back from furlough.

  3. While anybody on here can easily get their news online, a significant portion of newspaper subscribers cannot. They get their wire feeds and international news from the print edition. Perhaps the Argus could save money by ditching the big picture and focusing local, but they would likely lose more than gain.

    Most younger people get their news online, and will for their whole lives. Newspapers need to figure out how to make money from it or they will die. We will all lose if that happens.

  4. Follow Coyote_Bill’s advice. Read the TCV Editorial and then sign up for the subscription ($5).

    If nothing else you’ll feel like your flipping MediaNews the bird, which is now trying to negotiate with the government to the S.F. Chronicle. This would mean they would own just about every paper in the Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, The Argus, Hayward Daily Review, Contra Costa Times, San Mateo County Times, Tri-Valley Herald and the Alameda Times-Star.

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