Tell anyone in St. Louis that you work at the Riverfront Times, and they'll generally have one of two responses.
One, they want to know what it's like working with Ray Hartmann.
Or, two, they want to tell you that the RFT sucks for no longer carrying Savage Love.
Sometimes they'll even give you both replies. That's when you know you've got a live wire.
The thing is, I'm now in my second stint at the RFT -- I was here as managing editor from 2010 to 2011, and after three years in Los Angeles, followed by five months at a food magazine here in St. Louis, I started Monday as the paper's new editor in chief. The paper has new owners, and they were looking for an editor who knew the ropes, and ...what can I say? I missed the place.
But I also knew what I was getting into: There would be questions about Hartmann. There would be anger over Savage Love.
There was nothing anyone could do on the Hartmann front. The newspaper's founder is a legend, but he's also kept plenty busy. It's been seventeen years since he sold us to the owners who sold us to, well, our new owners. You see him on Donnybrook; you read him in St. Louis Magazine. He hasn't gone far; some readers apparently just need to look a little bit harder.
Savage Love, though. The syndicated weekly sex column was a problem that the RFT needed to address.
Address it we did.
As of this week, everyone's favorite sexual provocateur Dan Savage returns to the pages of the Riverfront Times. His column will only be running locally in print, not on our website, but what the heck: It was always online. That never seemed to stop your bitching.
So, dear reader, I'm hoping you'll see this as a great reason to start picking up the RFT again if you'd gotten out of the habit, and to linger over it a bit longer, if you continued to pick us up during our three Savage-less years.
Spend a little time with this week's issue, and you may notice a few other things, too: We're increasing the number of pages devoted to news, arts, culture and food. We've also added color throughout. We think you'll enjoy the experience. And if nothing else, well, the latest Savage Love column is as kinky, and perceptive, as ever.
What else needs to be said? For the first time in three years, this week's issue contains valuable advice about what to do if your loved one wants you to wear a diaper. St. Louis, you're welcome.
Sarah Fenske is the editor of the Riverfront Times as of April 6. If you're angry about anything that happened before that, go track down a guy named "Chad Garrison." Reach Sarah via email at sarah.fenske[at]riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter @sarahfenske.