So long newspaper life, but wait, there’s more!

A few of my earliest Milwaukee Sentinel columns. Ignore that sketch of the young punk reviewer!

The times, and location of car columns, is a changin’ ….

There comes a time to say goodbye to parts of our lives.

Since 1984 my byline has appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel, and later the Journal Sentinel, first on feature stories, then business stories and since at least 1989 on a car review column, Savage on wheels. On Jan. 21 my last column appeared in the Sunday Cars section.

We had a lot of fun in those early Sentinel years. Just for grins I tested a military version of the Hummer during the Gulf War, drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, tested a watercraft on Lac La Belle, a Duck at the Wisconsin Dells, and drove a one-horse open sleigh at Old World Wisconsin. I even got to fulfill a childhood dream by taking a 3-day Skip Barber racing class at Road America, and while the Andretti clan didn’t have anything to worry about, I had a blast, and got faster each day.

By my estimate I’ve driven more than 1,500 cars and trucks for my reviews, although never a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Yet I did get to drive a Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus, along with numerous Jaguars, Audis, Mercedes, Lexus, and Jeeps, even off road. Heck, some brands I tested in that stretch are long gone — Plymouth, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki. Looks like brands starting with P and S are doomed!

Don’t ask which car was my favorite, I can’t pick just one.

I left the paper 18+ years ago for a magazine career at Kalmbach Media and there was no reason the Journal Sentinel had to let me keep writing the column. But the editors did, and I’m eternally grateful.

So this is just an online thank you note to everyone who has supported me at the newspaper, and all my faithful readers for 30+ years who have been critiquing (mentally and via email) my reviews, my annual Zoomie awards, and stories from the Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee auto shows. It was a great ride. Thanks so much.

But wait, there’s more … While bidding goodbye to my newspaper home of 35 years, this is not goodbye for Savage on wheels. There’s still my website, AND, some good news will be coming shortly from another trusted Milwaukee media outlet that plans to carry my weekly car and truck reviews. So stay tuned!



3 thoughts on “So long newspaper life, but wait, there’s more!”

  1. Mark, the Journal Sentinel didn’t even have the decency to inform readers that the Autos section was going away. I wondered for three weeks what happened to it, and to no avail could find any marketing contacts there to ask, nor did editor George Stanley respond to inquiries. I had to come looking here for answer. I well understand the challenges of the newspaper biz, but if they want to keep subscribers, quit taking away content. If there’s one day a week to hold on to print readers, Sunday needs to be that day.


    1. Absolutely agree Jason. Hope you’ll keep looking at my site, and WUWM’s site on Sundays for the first run of every column. My site is particularly good if you’re doing research on several cars from the past couple years.


    2. Right Jason, when things disappear newspapers rarely let the readers know. I worked in papers for 30+ years and any time there was a cutback in the paper’s size or a change that eliminated some features, whether it was comics, or columnists, little to nothing was noted in the paper. However, we always used to joke that when something was said, it was that the changes were to benefit the reader. A lot of right-sizing in this world. But I hope you’ll continue to view this site, and/or’s site.


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