Yesterday, as you who read the New Haven Independent already know, I covered the governor's visit to New Haven to cheer lead for her budget to a dozen business and academic leaders and tell them that all was going to be OK.
It turned out that the meeting was closed to the press and the governor was going to join us in the small conference room after she had her tour of Sargent Manufacturing (20 minutes) and the meeting (another 35 minutes.) So, as so often is the case, we cooled our heels.
One of the reporters in the room was Mark Pazniokas, the veteran Hartford Courant political and State Capitol reporter. I hadn't met Mark before...our paths hadn't crossed. I enjoyed chatting with him, with Tom Monahan, who has been kicking around for Channel 30 for more than three decades, and Jodi Latina of Channel 8, who is just a joy to be around.
Jody had an intern with her, who displayed the wide-eyed wonder of the young at a bunch of pros just sitting around telling war stories and talking, of course, about the state of the business and what had happened to the New Haven Register's parent company and the further bloodletting that was expected at the Courant.
Nobody in the room expected that Pazniokas would hear later that night, after he filed his stories, of course, that his 24 years at the Courant were over.
There also was a reporter from the Register who didn't take part in the chatting. After the news conference, which lasted about 20 minutes at which Pazniokas asked the most questions, I asked the Register reporter how she was doing. She said "I'm doing just fine."
Ah, the bright eyes of the young.
I write this because I really was shocked at Pazniokas' dismissal. I guess I shouldn't be after the now-bankrupt Journal Register Co. fired Greg Hladky, who had reported at the Capitol for 25 years or more and whose work was carried by five JRC newspapers.
I thought the Courant was better than that.
Until next time...