After a two-month hiatus that many assumed would be permanent, Dave Segal's byline has, without any fanfare, crept its way back into the Stranger. Which is a little weird, when you consider the very public and Pecksniffian manner in which Segal was deposed after allowing a sales staffer to write for his section under an assumed name. Asked to reconcile Segal's return, Stranger editor Dan Savage says: "Segal is freelancing for the paper again. He's not on staff. He made a serious error of judgement as a manager and editor, not as a writer or critic. He remains a terrific music writer. We're very happy to have his column in the paper again, as our readers no doubt are."
Which, if genuine, makes one wonder why didn't the paper simply demote him to a staff writer position rather then grant him his walking papers. In related news, we hear Howell Raines is pondering an offer to return to the New York Times as City Hall stringer for the Newark bureau.