Tag Archives: War on Dumb

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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AltWeekly Award for Kyle

Kyle WhitmireCongratulations to MOBster Kyle Whitmire, who won first place in Political Column (under 55,000 circ.) Saturday at the 2008 AltWeekly Awards for his War on Dumb column in Birmingham Weekly.

This is the newspaper’s first win in nine years, though it has picked up several runner-up honors.

War on Dumb wins AltWeekly Award

On Saturday, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the Medill School of Journalism announced the winners of the 13th annual Altweekly Awards at the association’s convention in Philadelphia. Birmingham Weekly’s ‘War on Dumb’ took first place for best political column in the 55,000-and-under circulation division.

The weekly column by staff writer Kyle Whitmire examines political culture in Birmingham and Alabama.

Birmingham Weekly last received a first place award in 1999 for media criticism by then-staff writer Tom Spencer. In recent years, Birmingham Weekly writers have been runners up for commentary, political commentary and arts criticism.

You can find the rest of the 2008 Altweekly Award winners at www.aan.org.

The winning submission included three columns from 2007 — two about Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford and one about Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s Alabama PAC scheme to sidestep federal campaign finance laws.

You can read the winning columns by following the links below.