Rascally Russell Brown

June 12, 2008

has announced he’s quit at The Listener, leaving only a couple of names on board who have any hope of stopping the rot.

I’ll miss Russell’s writing. I can’t quite understand why it leads in to the TV section of the paper but there you go. It was one of the first places I ever read about “the internet” and Russell’s troubles getting his original Ihug connection set up (by the Wood brothers themselves, no less) was one of those pivotal moments that sparked my interest in IT as a news round.

When I arrived at Computerworld some years later, Russell was the online editor (of what was quaintly called @IDG). When he left, I got the online reporter’s job (and Kirstin got the online editor’s role – the much harder and less rewarding post because she had to manage me. Sorry, Kirstin) and Russell told me if ever I needed to jack up the ratings, write about either Linux, Apple, online security threats or Ihug. He was right and I could do that and just about guarantee the traffic surge that would follow.

I’ve been mistaken for Russell several times. In fact, one fellow thought that I was a pseudonym for Russell and used to regularly accost me as such in public. I toyed with the idea of getting “The poor man’s Russell Brown” on a t-shirt to wear on the TV but Russell suggested he might be upset if that happened so I didn’t. Well, not yet I didn’t.

In fact, I only ever got to BE on TV because Russell refused to do mornings. A wise move, especially now Breakfast Business kicks off at 6am, requiring you to be in the studio waiting to go at some ungodly hour.

Of course, Russell has a new home now (and an older one) and seems to be doing quite nicely. But I will miss his Listener column and it’s just another reason why I don’t read that rag any more.


One Response to “Rascally Russell Brown”

  1. Mysterious Dave Mather Says:

    I think the editor and management of the Listener are mugs to let a writer like Brown get away.

    Russell Brown has a very high profile for a New Zealand journalist and a following beyond the pages of the Listener. I’m sure the competing demands of his various publications are huge, but if what Brown wrote about his pay rate over his time on the Listener is true (no increase in rate for 17 years), they really didn’t put the effort into keeping him. He is good on a number of topics, but he is very good on technical developments.

    Go on, buy the t-shirt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: