Oh, hey, just kidding, everyone: apparently the Times-Picayune didn't actually want to lay off its restaurant critic Brett Anderson earlier this week. The paper has taken to its blog this morning to report that it has offered Anderson the opportunity to return after his Nieman Foundation fellowship.
According to editor Jim Amoss:
We told Brett then that he would have a job with us when the fellowship ended. We should have communicated that this week when we announced the changes at our paper. We intend to honor our commitment to Brett. His work has been integral to the recovery of the dining scene in New Orleans.
Of course, nothing in the blog post says whether Anderson has accepted the terribly gracious offer to return to a job from which he was laid off, or whether he will return to the dining section as a restaurant critic. Which resulted in furor and speculation nationwide that New Orleans was about to be another example of restaurant coverage as collateral damage in newspaper cutbacks everywhere.
But Amoss also told the New York Times last night that his paper would continue to "have substantial coverage" of the New Orleans restaurant world, including restaurant reviews and two full-time writers — one of whom Eater NOLA reports will be the paper's fashion editor Susan Langenhennig is transitioning to become a full-time news and features writer, a role she's been playing part-time since April. So will Anderson accept? Stay tuned.
· Brett Anderson invited to return after Nieman fellowship [Times-Pic]
· Update: New Orleans Food Coverage to Continue [NYT]
· Susan Langenhennig Will Do Full-Time Food Coverage, No Word on New Times-Pic Critic [-ENOLA-]
· All Critics Coverage on Eater [-E-]