An arbitrator has ruled that his demotion/dismissal from the Philadelphia Inquirer way back in January 2008 was "unjust", and has ordered the negotiation of an "appropriate remedy". I'm sure we could come up with a few suggestions.
In his decision, Arbitrator Richard R. Kasher found that Smith's firing violated the paper's CBA with the Philadelphia
Lollipop Newspaper Guild, and ordered the Inquirer's parent company to make things right. This could potentially pave the way for Smith's return as a columnist, or (more likely) lead to some type of monetary award. And based on how much Smith was scheduled to earn, it could be a nice chunk o' change:
According to the Guild account, [Smith's] agreement called for Smith to write a minimum of 75 columns a year for an annual salary of $125,000. At the end of one year, in February of 2006, Smith would have the option of resigning, of extending the agreement, or of returning as a full-time columnist, at a salary of $190,000.
The Guild reported the contract said if he went back to full-time employment, his salary would increase to $205,000 in June 2006, and to $225,000 in June 2007. Smith ultimately chose to return to work at the paper full-time.
With newsroom layoffs taking place at the beginning of 2007, Editor William Marimow [Ed. note: Hey, that's David Simon's old boss!] balked at awarding a $20,000 raise.
While Stephen A. has since moved on to bigger and better things, this has to be a welcome result for him. Now he can focus his attention on that other gross injustice plaguing his career- his continued exclusion from the Deadspin Hall of Fame.
Firing of 'Inky' Sports Columnist Stephen Smith 'Unjust,' Arbitrator Rules [Editor & Publisher]