EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Whitmire, Birmingham Weekly part ways

Media of Birmingham has learned that columnist Kyle Whitmire is leaving Birmingham Weekly after 9 years with the publication. Whitmire characterized it as a mutually agreed upon split.

His final War on Dumb column will appear in Thursday’s issue, while his last official day will be Sunday. Whitmire covered city politics, winning several awards for his coverage. Most recently, he reported on the federal trial of former mayor Larry Langford and the resulting special election.

Whitmire was also the principal architect in bhamweekly.com’s current site design. He was most recently featured as the subject of the cover story, “Fighting City Hall,” in B Metro magazine, discussing how he wants to be remembered someday:

“I have this revenge fantasy that centuries from now an historian or archeologist will find what we’ve written in the Weekly and wonder, ‘Why weren’t these people in charge?’ So whenever I think no one is reading what I’m writing, I say to myself that I’m writing for posterity. Someone might mistake ‘War on Dumb’ for the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

He’s also a co-founder of Media of Birmingham.

Whitmire declined to reveal his immediate plans, other to stay in Birmingham.

Update Jan. 27: Whitmire offers an instant history lesson in his final column

At the turn of the 21st century, Birmingham pined to be more like Atlanta. Little did it know it was well on the way toward making that nightmare come true.

The city ended the decade as it had every one before, as the “city of perpetual promise.” Some perceived this as an indicator of incessant failure. Others, rightly, knew its true meaning — the city of perpetual hope.

Also, Whitmire penned a farewell note via Facebook:

I’m incredibly grateful for my time at the Weekly and the opportunities it has given me. For the last nine years, I’ve been able to cherry-pick my assignments and I’ve had the editorial latitude to have a point of view as a columnist — things I never would have had at any other media, at least not at such an early stage in my career.

Whatever happens next for me, my time at the Weekly made that possible.

Plus, AL.com sports producer Dennis Pillion has his theories about the sudden departure of the Weekly’s best-known columnist.

• • •

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22 responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Whitmire, Birmingham Weekly part ways

  1. HA! I outlasted Kyle at the Weekly!

    Er… Wait…

  2. Color me surprised and disappointed. No doubt Birmingham will provide plenty of opportunities for others who wish to fight a war on dumb. I hope someone’s up to the task.

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  4. That’s too bad. Whatever Kyle winds up doing, I hope he remains vocal and that someone is broadcasting it.

  5. Well, Kyle’s tenure at the Bham Weekly and the “War on Dumb” column has taught me a few things:
    1. Kyle has a one-of-a-kind combo of passion, intelligence, and incisiveness that I think is unlikely to be replicated by whoever (if ever) anyone tries to step into his shoes.
    2. Sadly, in this City (and this State..and very possibly this Country), Kyle’s War on Dumb is being fought by too few volunteer “soldiers”, under the eyes of an uncaring, solely-profit-based media, for an increasingly clueless and apathetic electorate. It has to be discouraging to him…it is to me.
    3. Kyle’s expositions about the relationship between Jeffco’s Sewer debt and the Wall Street Banks should have won a bunch of Awards. They were/are the clearest info, in local or National news (i.e. NYTimes) yet about how Wall St has undermined every aspect of life in the USA, one city at a time, one loan at a time, one bailout at a time.

    Kyle, thanks for fighting the good fight. Many of us read you and said “Yes! Exactly!” on more occasions than you could know. Those “historians” you think will be digging up your columns? I think they’ll be starting the dig in about a year when the Economy and unemployment *really* is in the ditch….and people (finally) get around to asking, “Who did this?”. Obama will get the blame, but Wall Street really should.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors; Kyle Whitmire, commanding General of “The War On Dumb”.

  6. ..oh, and for anyone who didn’t read Kyle’s articles, know that your taxes are paid to JeffCo, who then gave them to Wall Street at rates which more than double (or triple) the size of the original loan.
    Your taxes are paid to the Federal Government, who gave them to Wall Street, to the tune of 7 Trillion Dollars in bailouts, handouts, bet payouts (AIG), and individual bonus payouts .
    Your Gasoline prices are set by Wall Street commodities manipulators, who received Billions of dollars in the Gasoline purchases you make when Gas goes over about (IMHO) 2.00 a gallon (currently).
    …and the Supreme Court has just given Wall Street the right to spend an essentially infinite amount of $$ to put (and keep) their Political candidates in office.

    And we are so dumb, we (the USA) keep electing people who support them. Those people, btw, sit on both sides of the Political aisle.

  7. I’m really sorry to read this. Birmingham needs an investigative reporter of Kyle’s caliber; if he stops doing what he’s been doing, we will all lose.

  8. Good luck, Kyle. Glad you’re sticking around.

    It’s the Weekly’s loss but then again they got 9 years of great value out of you, so in journalism speak, you gave them 3 lifetimes worth of work tenure.

    Count me as another loyal reader who looks forward to your next chapter.

  9. Thank God he’s staying in Birmingham. I assume he’ll be busy marshaling the wolverines for an all-out assault on dumb.

  10. Good riddance. Dumb kid. Total asshole…

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  12. Elizabeth Franklin-Corley

    Really? No reason at all? Just movin on? I think it’s pretty inflated to think that no one reads what is written in the Weekly. This seems to be a “too big for the britches” scene. Hope it turns out better for him than a former Talk Soup or SNL cast member. Remember, 1st rule of journalism- broadcast or print: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

  13. Thanks for all the comments!

  14. It wouldn’t be a comments section without a few snarky dicks joining the fray.

    Kyle: You will be missed.

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  16. long-time reader, first-time commenter here. just want to say i liked the cut of your jib when you were with the weekly, and i plan to follow your exploits on this internet site here. just keep writing the good write my friend.

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  18. Elizabeth Franklin-Corley

    I’d like to retract my tiny snark from earlier. After finding out a bit more from a close source, I COMPLETELY understand reasons for departure. GOOD LUCK everyone!

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  20. Dear Elizabeth: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

  21. Wow. 8 months later- I shouldn’t have signed up to be notified of follow-up comments. Per my obviously useless retraction, thank you “NOTDUMB” for that ego-check. I do not post comments in forums or message boards often, and when I do, I do not comment to start arguments with other participants. So, in the interest of full disclosure, and god-willing CLOSURE- I apologize for my previous previous statement, as I am a friend of Glenny Brock- before I knew that my upset should’ve been directed at Chuck, it looked as though Kyle was jumping ship at a time when they needed him most. This was incorrect. Again, best of luck to everyone holding the Weekly together.

  22. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Weekly, the untold stories | Media of Birmingham

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