For most folks, Pitch restaurant critic Charles Ferruzza has been something of an institution at the local alternative paper. For upwards of a decade, Ferruzza – formerly with the Johnson County Sun – has been dishing up restaurant reviews and related stories about the Cowtown’s dining scene.
“There was never a week that I wasn’t writing,” Ferruzza says. “And I was glad to have (still) had the gig.”
But as insiders know, Ferruzza took a major financial hit and was laid off (along with Night Ranger columnist Jen Chen) by the struggling newsweekly 17 months ago.
However, because he continued to write weekly reviews and daily blog posts, most readers of the Pitch had no reason to suspect that he – like hundreds of local print media refugees – had fallen on hard times.
“I wasn’t getting interviews and I kept thinking, ‘What’s wrong?’ ” Ferruzza muses. “And I kept re-writing my resume. It was very disheartening. It’s like, you work all your life and then nobody wants you.”
Just as Ferruzza’s health insurance was about to run out this past month, he made a tentative deal with another local publication. A deal that had he taken it (as he was planning to) would have left the Pitch high and dry.
So they hired him back!
“I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have both oars in the water,” Ferruzza says. “I am going back to the Pitch…I’m just happy to have a full-time job – I can’t even tell you.”
Ferruzza’s reaction to be rehired by the Pitch: “I was surprised and delighted at the same time. But more surprised.”
The bottom line on the state of