Kristi Barlette stepping back from the TU

kristi gustafson barlette cropped smallKristi Gustafson Barlette -- one of the Times Union's highest profile personalities -- announced today she's stepping back from her popular blog and column. From a post today about the evolution of her role at the paper:

That's not to say I don't still love writing, I do, but my mission has changed and raising Little C is a priority. R and I were raised by stay-at-home moms and want to offer Little C the same.
So I've decided to step away from the blog, and from Life 3.0, to be home with our daughter. To watch her grow and mature and build and follow her own dreams.
I'm not going off the grid, or even fully stepping away from journalism. Around Memorial Day, I'll be doing some part time editing for the TU and freelance writing for the magazines. I'll also continue my FLY 92.3 segment.
I'll continue to play around on Facebook and Twitter -- and use those platforms to reach out to readers for story ideas and sources for two of my favorite features sections -- Solutions and Work Life. A new opportunity, and a new role -- one I'm excited to begin. Now, and then, you can reach me through Facebook and Twitter or kbarlette@timesunion.com.

During her maternity leave, Barlette started her own blog separate from the TU, and she mentions in the post that she'll continue to write there.

More than anyone else in this market, Barlette has successfully embraced being the sort of multi-platform personality that so many media orgs have tried to cultivate over the last handful of years: as a columnist in the paper, on her very popular blog on the TU website, on radio and TV, on Facebook and Twitter. All the while she's exhibited a keen sense of how to pick topics people will respond to -- and from time to time, to press people's buttons.

Most media people are kind of interchangeable for consumers of media. Yep, some readers/watchers/listeners notice bylines, and if a media figure sticks around long enough there's a certain position of familiarity she or he takes on. But it's remarkable to us how often we've encountered people who have some sort of opinion about Kristi -- good, bad, impressed, frustrated, whatever. They noticed her. It's like they couldn't help but have some sort of reaction to her. We're pretty sure that didn't happen by accident.

Comments

Journalism?

@ Cyril...lol... I was thinking the same thing.

I am so supportive of Kristi's choice to be a stay-at-home Mom and I encourage her to see her daughter through college, even grad school, before returning to journalism.

yeah, I don't consider anything she does even remotely close to journalism and this is not a loss at all.

It's not like her job was particularly demanding... just surf some internet and repost stuff from Facebook.

The hardest thing I ever did as a parent was drop my kid off at daycare. Best of luck to her; it couldn't have been an easy decision.

Pretty positive I didn't need/care to read about this on AOA. Or at all.

Have had my moments with Kristi.
Just when we became FB friends again , i had a feeling she would go this route.
Best of luck to her , and her beautful little family!

Journalism is/should be a wide venue for portraying all sorts of experiences.If something doesn't interest you simply turn the page. If a writer/publication doesn't have what you wish to read about pass it by. Better to have more than less. Kristi - enjoy the next years with your daughter - this opportunity only comes around once.

thank goodness someone else said it first. but we're blessed to have "Thirty Love" to fill her enormous shoes. Useless drivel.

Apparently society has come to accept blogs about the Bachelor and fluff pieces as journalism.

Edward R Morrow's ghost is rising from the grave.

@Cyril - yes, same here - my eyebrows shot up at the word "journalism". It's not a word I normally associate with Kristi.

I probably don't have as visceral a reaction to her as most, but I reached a state of Kristi-fatigue long ago. Her omni-presence and her media saturation was suffocating, because she had very little that was original to say, and not much intellectual discourse to add to the mix. To me, she served as a beacon, pointing to and posting stories about the most banal and shallow items our current media has to offer. I wish her well, but I won't miss her brand of "journalism".

I never read gossip columns anyway.

Thanks Kristi for all your freebies! I'm SURE I won more blog contests than would be considered "fair" in 2012.

Wow, people! Didn't your mother ever teach you, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. Good luck Kristi!!

Edward R Morrow?! Hahaha! That is so sad. We should tell all the scientists today to hang it up because they aren't Einstein. AOA is a fine blog, but you consider it not fluff? So many kettles, so many pots.

I respect her choices and wish her luck, but honestly, this is no loss. Despite logic telling me not to click on the link or turn to page 2 of the TU every day, I found myself reading her mostly useless - and self-centered - material.

We're all better off without a daily dose of her junior Martha Stewart meets Tracy Flick meets Sarah Palin brand of smarm that shames everyone who disagrees with her. 30 Love and even her co-workers who have been filling in on her own blog have been a breath of fresh air in that it's not a blog about "me, me, me."

What happened to the first AOA rule? Be kind. Infoarch I couldn't agree with you more. Nasty, nasty people.

Kristi is a public person (in this regard) who has not only put herself out there be be criticized, but has done it quite viciously herself. She has used her blog and Twitter as bully pulpits numerous times.

So, not everyone is kind in their opinions of her, but it's not all unwarranted and at least I'm showing the honesty that Kristi claims to admire. I have no sympathy at all.

@wendi -- in defense of the critics, AOA put it out there that Kristi is a controversial figure on the local media scene. I think that allows for some frank responses to this news that she's stepping back from her work. I didn't wake up yesterday ready to dish some snark about Kristi Barlette, but since the topic came up, I think people do get to express their opinions on her merits as a journalist.

"If you haven't got anything good to say about anybody, come sit next to me." -- Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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