Planet Waves

Fuss says that, except for informed Screed readers, "very few people--unless they're really paying attention to the magazine--would even realize [the changes]."

And those changes will consist mainly of shorter, tighter stories, he explains. Seems things were getting a little too much like, yes, this very New Times publication. Oddly, the Planet editor did not favor this direction."We tried, sometimes successfully, to cover big news stories. But New Times already does that. I don't think there's really a void for that. I prefer to have shorter features that more people can relate to and read without having to go through four, eight-page features."

Fuss won't be plunging into this new, shorter world alone; for at least the next couple of issues, he'll be aided by former national music editor Laura Bond, who was initially fired along with Notaro and Halverson. If you're guessing this is another point of bitterness and confusion, you're right.

"They were all given two weeks' severance pay, and she [Bond] came back and said, 'You can't put this out by yourself, I'll work out two issues, and if it works out, keep me on,'" clarifies Fuss. "I said okay; she was the only person who came back with any sort of offer like that."

"I don't think we're going to lose out, contentwise," Bond offers. "People have been saying it's going to become like the local National Enquirer or something. I think it'll be more accessible, less academic."

Notaro and Halverson are looking for work and waiting for their first unemployment checks to roll in; Fuss and Singer are still working and waiting for the ads to roll in. Decisions have been made, friendships have been strained, desks cleared out. And the magazine's softball team isn't doing so hot, either, says Bond.

"Well, I don't know, Meg's not there anymore, and she's been our manager. That might fall apart, too; it probably will.

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