After meeting at The St. Petersburg Times, co-workers Vanessa Gezari and Will Vant became fast friends and eventually became a couple. The two traveled north to New York, and while living together their career paths traveled in completely different directions. Gezari was a visiting professor in 2013, and adjunct in 2014. She was also managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review in 2015. Her book on the Afghan War entitled “The Tender Soldier” received some favorable reviews and the 41-year old journalist is the midst of a respectable career.
On the other hand, being the father of Gezari’s 1-year old son Max may be the closest that Will Van Sant ever got to journalism. The former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter seems more comfortable with tabloid-type reporting that is reminiscent of the National Enquirer. Van Sant is often criticized by colleagues for being a bit on the lazy side and extremely loose on fact checking. Also, he is considered to be the weakest link in what is thought of as a disastrous investigative reporting crew at his current employer, Newsday.
The Long Island-based daily was once highly regarded but is now in a free-fall in sales, readership and especially respectability. Van Sant was recruited by his mentor and editor, Matthew Doig. Doig and Van Sant are also privately accused of being loose with the company’s budget. Van Sant always seems to be more interested in receiving his pay check than actually earning it.
Newsday’s parent company, Cablevision, is being purchased by the French media conglomerate Altice. Will Van Sant is a likely candidate to be axed in the upcoming transition while his better half, Vanessa Gezari, continues to build her credibility.
(The couple has one child, Max, who was born on Sept. 24, 2014.)