Home Open Account Help 242 users online

Passenger Trains > Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine


Current Page:1 of 3


Date: 04/02/18 16:15
Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: GenePoon

TRAINS columnist Don Phillips was notified last Thursday by Editor Jim Wrinn that he
had been fired by the magazine.

According to Don, Wrinn "made up some phony excuse. It was, to put it bluntly, a lie."
The implication is that Wrinn received marching orders from up top at Kalmbach
Publishing.

Phillips announced this in a mailing to his personal distribution list yesterday.

He apparently has offers from other publications already.

ADDENDUM: ....already picked up by Passenger Train Journal, according to Don.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/18 22:13 by GenePoon.



Date: 04/02/18 16:55
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: railwaybaron

Not surprised. Clambake has a thing about folks with memories who remember how good their mags once were.



Date: 04/02/18 17:10
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: andersonb109

Bad karma. I just finished reading his last article a few minutes ago before reading this. Don is an excellent writer and a better person. I had the pleasure of traveling with him on a charter in Ukraine in 2004 and a few in Colorado along with a 1225 trip in Michigan. Hope he finds a new gig.



Date: 04/02/18 17:15
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: ts1457

Must be a reason.



Date: 04/02/18 17:35
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: IC_2024

That is such BS! Don Phillips is— and has always been— a “tell it like it is” journalist. Jim Wrinn is a likable fellow but too diplomatic w/ the railroads ( as well as Bob Johnston who always gives NRPC “light” treatment). I may have to finally give up my lifelong subscription — 😔



Date: 04/02/18 17:52
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: wabash2800

They probably can't afford to pay him anymore...

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Date: 04/02/18 17:52
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: irhoghead

Don Phillips made Trains Magazine worth reading. What gives? Did he piss Amtrak Anderson off?



Date: 04/02/18 17:57
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: Lackawanna484

When he wrote for the Washington Post, Don Phillips had a reputation as a straight shooter, call 'em as you see 'em guy.

That upsets some folks...



Date: 04/02/18 18:04
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: HotWater

I've know Don for quite a long time, and this is a real shame. Glad I gave up my Trains subscription quite some years ago.



Date: 04/02/18 18:06
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: darkcloud

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/18 12:46 by darkcloud.



Date: 04/02/18 18:11
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: HotWater

darkcloud Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> HotWater Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I've know Don for quite a long time, and this is
> a
> > real shame. Glad I gave up my Trains
> subscription
> > quite some years ago.
>
> If the reason he was let go was because they can't
> afford his salary, then....

Never thought he had a "salary", but was paid by the column. Besides, Trains has been shrinking in pages & content over the years. However, the final blow for me was the lack of reporting "sensitive issues" that have been plainly obvious to many, many, many enthusiasts, WMSR 1309 has been just one example.



Date: 04/02/18 18:20
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: johnpage

With both Railway Age and Progressive Railroading these days being only a shadow of their former selves, mostly running press releases and just one or two feature stories, none of which is usually hard, breaking news from the railroad industry, Trains Magazine has tried mightily to become the first choice magazine of not only fans, but of the industry itself. But, it can't quite make up its editorial mind who it's really serving.

Railway Age and Progressive Railroading are victims of the changes in the publishing industry, moving mostly from print to daily digital. Both provide a worthwhile daily digital edition, but, again, there is rarely any investigative journalism. Each has a small set of columnists who contribute (though neither has someone the caliber of Don Phillips or Fred Frailey, who in his 70s, Fred is probably the best railroad industry journalist writing regularly), but none of them are as wired-in and effective as Phillips and Frailey.

Passenger Train Journal for a long time has really been the premier magazine for passenger trains. When it was brought back a few years ago, it came back as only a quarterly publication. It would be wonderful to see it monthly again. But, even Passenger Train Journal occasionally has an article or two by an author who many in the industry know to be less-than-forthright in their reporting, and think far too highly of themselves and their wrong opinions. Thankfully those articles are rare. Passenger Train Journal is the most readable railroad print magazine in publication.

One has to wonder what the legendary David P. Morgan would think of today's Trains Magazine. In his era, before the wizardry of computer page composition and rampant color printing, his magazine had to rely on content, rather than pretty graphics and color to have compelling storytelling.

You can argue that a half a century ago, there were a lot more railroads to report on, and, therefore, there was not a few dominant railroads which, if displeased by Trains Magazine, could cut off access to the railroad media staffs and other goodies. Today, there is CSX, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National. Being cut off from access by these giants could really cause a problem, hence the timidity of Trains Magazine to take on many serious industry issues.

The same is true on the passenger side of things. There may have been UP's City of Los Angeles to write about, or Santa Fe's Super Chief, or Northern Pacific's North Coast Limited which were always good for readable copy. The Silver Meteor or Broadway Limited or Twentieth Century Limited usually has some buzz about them. Today, it's Amtrak, and the emerging All Aboard Florida's Brightline. And, Trains regrettably thinks of and treats Amtrak the same way so many others choose to incorrectly: "We can't speak against Amtrak! What will we do if it goes away! We will have nothing! Protect Amtrak at all costs!" Hence, the fluffy coverage Amtrak typically receives, which contributes to the problem more than provokes any rational thinking about solving the many problems of Amtrak.

It's unfortunate Don Phillips left Trains Magazine the way he did after decades of great columns. Most likely he was the victim of some type of corporate decision above the inhouse editorial level of Trains Magazine, perhaps based on some pressure from an advertiser or someone with some clout who didn't like his honest reporting and opinions. Whatever the reason, it's a stain on Trains Magazine.

The question is, what will replace today's railfan and railroad industry publications with something that is readable, relevant, and does the real job of journalism, which is to stand as a watchdog over an industry?



Date: 04/02/18 18:21
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: railcity

I still Love my Trains Magazine every month in my mailbox.



Date: 04/02/18 18:30
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: DavidP

I’ve enjoyed Don Phillips’ writing since he started his Trains column. However, I’ve noticed a change in his style in recent years. His writing is more highly opinionated, and his prose occasionally disjointed. Still interesting, but different than a decade ago. Perhaps this had something to do with Wrinn’s decision.

Dave



Date: 04/02/18 18:34
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: Lackawanna484

johnpage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> (SNIP)
>
> The question is, what will replace today's railfan
> and railroad industry publications with something
> that is readable, relevant, and does the real job
> of journalism, which is to stand as a watchdog
> over an industry?


To some extent, you're probably reading / participating in the replacement. A real-time dialogue among railroaders, some rail executives, many industry and shipper employees, etc.

The breadth of expertise is amazing, and the level of detail ("we processed 1800 cars yesterday, down from 3000 a year ago") can be granular. And highly impressive. Absent credible information from rail management, this may be among the best sources around for what's actually happening.



Date: 04/02/18 18:37
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: CPR_4000

johnpage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> . . . both Railway Age and Progressive Railroading . . . mostly [run] press releases and just one
> or two feature stories, none of which is usually hard, breaking news from the railroad industry . . .
>
> . . . there is rarely any investigative journalism [in Railway Age and Progressive Railroading].

A friend who worked for RA maybe 20 years ago said it was all about selling ads and promoting product and not at all about investigative journalism. Trains is also extremely focused on ad revenue, which is vitally needed to keep the doors open. Trains lost all editorial credibility with me after Grand Canyon dropped steam and Wrinn wrote a fluffy cover story about how environmentally responsible GCRY was. There just happened to be a nice big GCRY ad in the same issue, if I remember right. Things like that rankle me, but it's understandable in a world where ad revenue can evaporate on a whim.



Date: 04/02/18 18:45
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: dcfbalcoS1

I've been seeing a less and less worthy Trains Magazine for 3 or 4 years. Seems they are headed more to the little computer children who have delicate sensibilities and no common sense. Giving it up has been a topic of mine too, no longer worth it. I vote to leave with the rest of the crowd.



Date: 04/02/18 18:52
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: EmpireBuilder

Trains magazine is still around ?

I first met Mr. Phillips on a U.P. Business Car trip way back in the '90s. A very nice fellow I really enjoyed talking to. Sad to hear such an icon is treated that way.



Date: 04/02/18 18:56
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: ProAmtrak

I'm gonna miss his columns, he mostly hit the nail on he head, dumb Kalmbach canned a great writer!



Date: 04/02/18 18:59
Re: Don Phillips fired by TRAINS magazine
Author: CPR_4000

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’ve noticed a change in his style in recent years.
> His writing is more highly opinionated, and his
> prose occasionally disjointed.

^^^ yes.



Current Page:1 of 3


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0841 seconds