He wasn't a contrarian just to be one, he backed up his stuff.
His writing had gone downhill in the last decade though. Noie is very good at what he does. This is a good thing in my opinion.
I think it was a retirement by mutual agreement. The tribune is going through tough times and have been taking steps to cut costs even more. Lesar wasn't' t the only staff member to leave in form or another. The paper is now being printed in Michigan and being trucked back here. There is no coverage of nighttime sporting events. It will interesting to see how they cover ND night games. It's kind of sad, but not surprising in the social media age.