Sports writer Ted Pedulla was outraged in May when Gannett Newspapers fired him over the phone from the job he'd held for 31 years. Now another sports reporter seems to have been ungraciously terminated, but this time without even the courtesy of a phone call. He claims he found out over Twitter.
Will Buxton has been covering Formula One for the channel Speed for three years. But he apparently only learned that F1 was severing its 17-year partnership with the Fox-owned car channel when other Speed broadcasters took to Twitter to thank their fans for years of support, reports the auto blog Jalopnik.
This isn't the first time Buxton has lost a gig covering F1 for reasons beyond his control. According to his blog, his first full-time journalism gig after college was at Formula 1 magazine, which folded in 2004. But that was before Twitter.
After learning that Speed had lost F1, Buxton let out a torrent of tweets, at first expressing his shock and disappointment at finding out over the internet, and then saluting his Speed colleagues. He then clarified to fans that he really, truly found out over Twitter:
His mood took an upward turn, when he tweeted about a big party he would host in Austin for Speed's penultimate F1 race. "It is going. To. Be. Massive," he wrote.
Buxton then quickly shifted to job-hunting mode:
Buxton ended on a wistful note, writing "Well, here we go. A song for bedtime. A goodnight from me, and possibly a last good bye," along with a link to a YouTube video of Jeff Buckley's stirring ballad "Last Goodbye."
Perhaps realizing this crossed the line into morose, he tweeted: "And don't worry. I'm not depressed. Just love Jeff Buckley. Onwards and upwards my friend. Life has a way of giving you what you need."
A fan then tweeted at Buxton, whose British, an image of the iconic "Keep calm and carry on carry on" poster, but with "carry on" replaced by "save Buxton."
on the online forum Reddit the day before to answer questions from F1 fans. "What is the most rewarding part of your job?" one commenter asked.
"I think mainly that for the last 10 years I've been able to live my dream and do something that genuinely never ever feels like work," he replied. "Spending every day with your heroes, travelling the world and making some brilliant friends along the way has been the most tremendous honour and joy."
According to news reports, Fox has been planning on converting the gearhead-focused Speed to a more general sports channel, which Jalopnik suspected is why F1 was cutting ties with the network. In the Reddit chat, one commenter portentously asked, "Where do you see Speed Channel going with the news that Fox wants it to become just a general sports channel?"
"I'm afraid I really don't know," Buxton said.
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