The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and columnist Sylvester Brown have parted ways.
We've already reported on all the messy details per Sly Brown and his editors. But what we're really interested in today is the horse race to replace Brown as the paper's next minority columnist.
After all, Brown was hired to replace Greg Freeman, a columnist who often served as the minority (and more specifically African-American) voice of the Post-Dispatch prior to his untimely death in 2002.
So who are the likely candidates to replace Brown? Well, we've picked a few possible studs (and duds). Vote for your favorite at the end of this post, or feel free to nominate your own in the Comments thread.
1. Alvin Reid -- The longtime St. Louis American city editor was let go earlier this year from the city's largest black newspaper. Pluses: Already familiar with many readers thanks to this stints on Channel 9's Donnybrook. May be seen as less controversial choice than Brown. Minuses: Perhaps too competent for the Post-Dispatch job. Also already has new stints penning baseball column for St. Louis Beacon and doing radio show for 101.1 ESPN. Odds: 5-1
2. Lizz Brown -- Controversial former talk show host. Made name for her daily screeds during the takeover of the St. Louis Public School District a few years back. Pluses: Never, ever, stops bloviating. Proven she can beat a dead horse, but can she beat a strong field of live contenders? Minuses: Has anyone heard from Lizz lately? May be M.I.A. Odds: 30-1.
3. Sherman George -- Ousted St. Louis Fire Chief. Pluses: Already at odds with the mayor and other city officials. Column photo with hat and uniform would demand instant respect. Minuses: Could George transition from putting out fires to starting them? Has zero media experience. Odds: 15-1.
4. Z. Dwight Billingsly -- Conservative political columnist. Pluses: Already pens a semi-regular column for the Post-Dispatch. Shares similar view/opinions of the daily's older, white subscribers (ie. the people who actually keep the paper afloat). Minuses: Certifiable lunatic. Spews unreadable drivel. Odds: 3-1.
5. Maida Coleman -- Former state senator. Just lost election for mayor of St. Louis. Pluses: Always has something to say. Could benefit from the use of a good editor/censor. Lots of free time on her hands these days. Politically connected. Minuses: Again, zero journalism experience -- not that that matters! Odds: 12-1.
6. Smoov B -- Popular love columnist with The Onion. Pluses: Just incredibly, incredibly smooth. Guaranteed to mollify any bitterness in the Post-Dispatch newsroom following Brown's departure as well as impregnate all non-menopausal female staffers (of which there are very few). Minuses: Pretty much a one-trick pony. Has difficulty writing about anything but getting in women's panties. Odds: 50-1.