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Post-Dispatch Travel Writer Placed on Permanent "Staycation" Coverage

uhlenbrock2.jpg
stltoday.com
Tom Uhlenbrock
Okay, the headline above is a bit misleading. But I just can't resist using the word "staycation" whenever possible -- even if it is so 2009.

For those of you who missed it in this weekend's Post-Dispatch, travel writer Tom Uhlenbrock will no longer file dispatches from exotic locales. After ten years of wandering the globe as the paper's sole travel writer, Uhlenbrock has been re-assigned.

He's now covering the higher-education beat for the daily, meaning the most foreign-sounding place he's likely to visit anytime soon is Champaign -- as in Urbana.

What does this mean for the paper's travel coverage?  

Yesterday Daily RFT spoke with Post-Dispatch editor Arnie Robbins who tells us that the weekend travel section "Explore" will continue, although without a full-time reporter.

"We wanted more firepower for our metro coverage, so we decided to move Tom," explains Robbins. "As good as he was as a travel writer, there's just more priority for local news and Tom has proved himself before as a metro reporter."

Robbins says the Explore section will pull from wire services to replace the 24 to 26 travel features that Uhlenbrock penned each year. It will also use Post-Dispatch staff for around 12 to 16 features each year.

"If one of our reporters is going somewhere like New York or Florida to cover a story, we might also ask them to write a travel piece," continues Robbins, who adds that Uhlenbrock's reassignment is not a cost-cutting measure, per se. "It's more of a realignment. It's a trend you're seeing at papers across the country that have moved the resources they allocated for travel to other areas."

In related news, Kavita Kumar, who previously covered higher education for the paper, has also been reassigned. She's now covering retail business.


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