Tennessee politics lost a valuable resource on Monday, March 29, 2010, when Nashville publishing firm SouthComm relieved A.C. Kleinheider of his duties. Though the blog Post Politics will live on, there was undoubtedly a personality behind it that will be impossible to replace; this we know because budget decisions also forced Kleinheider out of WKRN’s fold, where he had developed the Volunteer Voters blog. When he moved to the Nashville Post, the blog he created there was simply a continuation of what he does. (All the best, by the way, to J.R. Lind, Jeff Woods and Ken Whitehouse, as they build their own style and keep Post Politics going.)
The human blog aggregator (not curator, Rex Hammock says) is a strange animal. Although, as R. Neal points out, Kleinheider occasionally wrote thought-provoking original content, and had been writing a column in a sister publication, his primary contribution was to grab content, put it up faster than anyone else, and wrap it in a grin- or groan-inducing headline. This created an “old country store” effect, because those interested in politics with a Tennessee flavor would often prefer to hang around and comment on the clip, rather than actually follow the links and converse on the content producer’s sites—yes, much to said content producers’ chagrin.
That said, this blog has consistently received more traffic from Kleinheider (wherever he was posting) than from any other source. I don’t blog for pageviews, but I cannot overstate the value of having the quality of readers I’ve come to enjoy over the years, in large part due to that one guy.
So, hats off to you, A.C. Kleinheider, and may you find the next opportunity more rewarding than the last. The rest of us will keep going, but we will miss what you did there, and will eagerly await news of the next installment.