Why I'm no longer writing for Flavor 574
This week, for the first time since Dining A La King was relaunched in the freelance realm, the column isn’t appearing on [Flavor574.com](http://flavor574.com/).
I want to explain why.
Flavor was launched in spring 2014 by [The Elkhart Truth](http://elkharttruth.com/). It became a successful brand to which people have turned for food writing, photography and more. People have liked Flavor.
A lot more of it got ascribed to me than was true. Though I was involved in some of the planning, a number of people have made it what it became. Editors Gwen Ragno, Danielle Waldron and Joe Kuharic did a tremendous amount of work to herd freelancers and staff members when it was part of the Truth. A number of people contributed photos and stories. The bosses at the Truth worked to make sure it had resources to operate. The whole thing was the brainchild of former publisher Brandon Erlacher. The awards it won and the following it gained show it’s a good idea.
Personnel changed over time. The Truth went through some hard changes, none harder than the sale on May 1 to Paxton Media Group. Federated Media, which owns a number of radio stations, kept Flavor and hired me as a freelancer and kept others who were in that role. Joe K. stayed with Flavor as its editor.
But in early October, Joe was let go and I was told that the site would be going dark. I was told that at least for now, FedMed needed to focus on some of the financial aspects but folks there have hopes of bringing it back. The bloggers, including Eric Strader, Tom Westerhof, Loren Shaum and Rachel Shenk, were told their services weren’t needed anymore.
Krystal Vivian, who excels in digital journalism, is at FedMed and has said she hopes to keep feeding its social media feeds and even the website. She and Rob Perugini are at this point continuing the podcast they have done since spring, initially with Joe.
He’s landed on his feet as a reporter for some newspapers in Niles. I’m still writing Dining A La King for the Goshen News and South Bend Tribune.
So what’s all this mean?
It means at least for now, Flavor won’t have as many stories about the local food scene. How that news bubbles up in other places remains to be seen. Shaum and Shenk are writing for the Goshen News. Westerhof is doing more with his site. Strader is likely to write for several outlets.
I will work to post more here on hungrymarshall.com and am working on some other projects. None of them are as big as Alton Brown working on bringing back a web version of Good Eats, but I hope to find some exciting ways to feed the hunger (yes I went there) that’s growing for what’s happening in the local and Midwestern food scenes.
Flavor 574 has elevated the local food scene. I’m grateful that it was birthed and hope it can thrive in the future. Maybe it will. Maybe I’ll be a part of it.
For now, I’m not and I’m sad about that.
For now, there are questions about what it will look like moving forward. That makes me sad too.