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Burgin’s Bitter Farewell

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“I’m going to try to leave here with a little class,” David Bur-gin said on his last day as editor of the Dallas Times Herald. Then, with tears cascading down his cheeks, his voice cracking, he warned some 215 reporters and junior editors not to expect much from their pa-; per’s new management.

When he was finished, many witnesses felt Burgin had failed to depart with class. He denounced the paper’s new owner, John Buzzetta, and editor, Roy Bode, as men “who have never accomplished anything in journalism. I have no respect for either of them,” Burgin said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” one midlevel editor remarked afterward. “It was an embarrassing thing to watch. It just came off as a cheap shot at the new management.”

Burgin insists his anger was well founded. The new owner and editor had unceremoniously beheaded the former newsroom chief without so much as a by-your-leave. In fact, when Buzzetta announced his purchase of the Times Herald June 8, neither he nor Bode had even spoken to Burgin about the change.

“It was humiliating to be out that quickly with no explanation,” says Burgin. “I’ve considered Roy Bode a friend for years, but he didn’t even have the guts to call me. He could have said something like, ’I’ve got big shoes to fill and I’d like your help.’ But he just moved into my office and that was that. Of course I was angry.”

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