Henry Payne becomes auto critic for Detroit News

Last month news broke that Detroit News editorial cartoonist Henry Payne was being reassigned as an editorial page writer and no longer a staff cartoonist. According to Deadline Detroit, Henry also being tasked with the paper’s auto critic.

Here’s a snippet from the announcement by Business Editor Joanna Firestone (which if you read the whole thing almost reads like an obit the longer it goes):

I’m glad to let you know that Henry Payne will become our auto critic, succeeding Doug Guthrie (Editor’s note: Guthrie died of natural causes last month.)

Henry joins The News? auto team from the editorial department, where he has worn many hats from cartoonist to editorial writer to columnist to editor of the Politics blog and MichiganView.com.

Now, Henry will marry his writing skills with his passion for cars. An amateur racer of sports cars ?- see the attached photo in which his Lola bears The Detroit News logo — you didn’t want to get between Henry and Doug when they were comparing notes.

The new role does seem to play with Henry’s interests and non-cartooning passions, but still difficult to accept.