NOLA Vet Higgins Let Go08.15.2018
New Orleans Times-Picayune/NOLA.com sports columnist Ron Higgins was let go by his employer. From Higgins' Facebook page:
STOP THE PRESSES AND MY PAYCHECK!
Question: What do Lowell Narcisse, Justin McMillan and myself have in common?
Answer: We all won’t be in Tiger Stadium when the 2018 LSU football season opens.
In the last 24 hours, both of those quarterbacks decided to transfer.
Me? About four hours ago just 2½ weeks shy of my 40th college football season as a professional journalist, I was told my job as sports columnist for NOLA.com/Times-Picayune was being eliminated because of “corporate restructuring.”
As in F-I-R-E-D.
I’m sure this news makes LSU athletic director Joe “the Search” Alleva happy.
And also those LSU fans who are convinced I “hate” the Tigers, which is ridiculous. I just think everybody, even the school my father served as sports information director and from which I graduated, should be held accountable good and bad.
I was told my firing wasn’t a “performance issue.” Well, no it wasn’t, not in any shape or form. My firing was about the size of my salary and definitely my age (I’m almost 62).
I’ve had so many of my friends in this business, outstanding journalists and people, get fired in a similar fashion. It happened to many fine writers and others at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune before I got there, while I was there and it will happen again.
I’m thankful that the past five years of my career at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune have been my best in this business since I started working part-time when I was 14 years old covering high school football games for then-Morning Advocate sports editor Ted Castillo.
It was always a dream of mine to one day work for the Times-Picayune, no matter if the emphasis is more on the NOLA.com online product.
The chance to work as a columnist where the great Pete Finney resided for decades is something I’ll always cherish.
I want to thank James Byrne and Marcus Carmouche (even if he did like playing for Curley Hallman) for hiring me.
I try not to think James hiring me maybe eventually forced him to move with his wife to France where they are living in witness protection under the name of Mr. and Mrs. Marcel Marceau.
I also want to thank current NOLA editor Mark Lorando, senior director Carolyn Fox and my sports editor Jennifer Armstrong.
Last but not least, thanks go out to everyone I’ve worked with on the LSU beat as editors and writers: my long-time friend Jim Kleinpeter who helped get me the job, Randy Rosetta (a.k.a. the King of Starbucks) who has always doggedly stuck to his journalistic principles, John Roach (the most upbeat guy I’ve ever met in this business), Jerit Roser, Chris Dabe and my two “sons” Andrew Lopez and Brody Miller.
So now, for the first time in my journalistic life, I’m a FREE AGENT!
Just the other day, Andrew Lopez and I were joking that I will work so long in this business I will probably die in a press box.
“Just make sure you hit the button to file my column before they carry me out,” I told Andrew.
That’s the way I still feel.
Still love the business, still love to write, still love to tell stories and still enjoy making readers laugh, cry or get angry.
Hopefully, I’ll find another writing gig or one with combination of my media skills in my next job.
I’m not down.
I’m not out.
I’m pumped to see what’s around the corner next, whether I continue what has been my life’s work or if I re-invent myself.
I know this. I’m not finished.
It’s not over until I say it’s over.