Tough & Truthful & Gone

Howard Manly, one of Boston's more traveled journalists, has apparently made another one of his abrupt career changes. According to Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen, Manly, a Herald op-ed columnist since March 2004, filed his column last Thursday afternoon, chatted amiably with Cohen and then walked away from One Herald Square without warning. Cohen said Manly left a resignation message in the computer system and she later found a letter on his desk addressed to her.

Among the other ironies here is that Manly is currently being featured in a Herald campaign to highlight its columnists and was depicted in a full page ad that ran in the paper on Monday describing the group as "Tough & Truthful: Not Just Pretty Faces."

Before his Herald departure, Manly had left previous jobs at The Boston Globe and at WGBH-TV's (Channel 2) "Greater Boston" under equally sudden and head-scratching circumstances. Still, it's not like he's run out of things to do. He is currently president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists .BABJ and a co-host of WGBH's weekly public affairs show dealing with African-American themes, "Basic Black." WGBH

There are rumors that Manly is headed to another local publication, but Media Log won't get any more specific at this point until that can be nailed down. And it is fair to say that the Herald gave him a pretty good platform for writing about criminal justice, urban, and racial issues.

"It's a voice that needs to be heard and sometimes I don't think Howard had an appreciation of the opportunity that was afforded him here," says Cohen.

Mark Jurkowitz can be reached at
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