Scott Burgess, who resigned as auto critic of The Detroit News after his editors bowed to an advertiser request to water down his negative review of the Chrysler 200, is heading back to The Detroit News.
According to a staff-wide email sent a few minutes ago, Burgess will be resuming his role as auto critic for the newspaper. His return comes after the newspaper ran this apology on its website over the weekend and this public statement last week.
Burgess, in a phone call with me last night, credited the attention given by our breaking the story on Jalopnik as the reason for the change in heart. We're happy to have helped.
Here's a copy of the email:
From: Wolman, Jon
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:59 PM
Subject: Scott Burgess' return
I'm glad to pass along Scott Burgess' message that he'll be returning to The News next week, full of fresh ideas and eager to revive his auto review column. I know how much the newsroom support has meant to him — but his own words are far more eloquent:
By now, most of you have already heard, and it's true. I return to the paper on Monday. I have never experienced something like this past week and I can tell you that the reason for me to come back has everything to do with all of you. The Detroit News is filled with world caliber reporters in every department. And the strength of your character and commitment to journalism has shined — in all of the notes I received, the phone calls and overwhelming support not simply by saying nice things to me, but speaking your mind, worries and concerns. We all know we can be better, and knowing that everyone stands for that shows me Detroit is where I want to be.
The Detroit News is not a building or even a newspaper, it's a group of people I am proud to call my colleagues and friends.
So there's no victory lap. I accept the paper's apology and return with the same energy and vigor I have always tried to hold.
Thank you and, please know, these words will never fully express my gratitude for all of your courage.
If anyone's wondering what Scott will be doing the next few days — he'll be playing Call of Duty. His XBOX gamer tag is CHACHI123. Hit him up.