Pacers Seeing Local TV Ratings Skyrocket Cam Newton Enjoying Foray Into Fashion ESPN Pulls Van Gundy From Knicks Game Marathon Bombing Tops Twitter Rankings Media Notes Kings Lead NBA Teams In Attendance Gains Why Was Bears-Eagles Flexed To NBC? John Skipper Sits For Q&A Attorneys Seek Interim Trustee For CSN Houston Rose Injury Presents Issues For Brand Marketing
THESE AREN'T THE DAYS: SPORTSWRITERS LAMENT THEIR CRAFT
Published January 30, 1998
The state of sportswriting is examined by Bob Drury of MEN'S JOURNAL, who writes that it "has become a dead-end job, the buggy-whip profession of the twenty-first century. Fiber optics are killing it." Boston Globe Sports Editor Don Skwar, on today's athletes: "They don't need us as much as they need ESPN or Nike. Their time is not our time." N.Y. Times sports columnist Harvey Araton: "Sportswriters today are like whiskey. We get blamed for a lot of things we didn't do." Araton, on the inaccessibility of players: "Now you're never allowed into practice with them. They've all got charters, so you're not on the plane. You're left with a choice: gangbang press conferences or grabbing whatever tidbits you can as athletes flee the locker room toward the team bus. ... Today, there's just such a difference between us and them that the only way to pierce the veil is to, essentially, be a TV partner. Ahmad Rashad wants to do a puff piece on Michael Jordan? Fine. Ahmad won't hurt him. Hell, he's the host of Jordan's off-season sales tour. Otherwise, [NBA Commissioner David] Stern doesn't want reporters around" (MEN'S JOURNAL, 2/98 issue). CIRCUS CIRCUS: The Globe's Skwar, on the depth and breadth of coverage: "It's true, we're not driving the beast, the beast is already driven. It's driven by Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy and talk radio and a coverage of gossip that sometimes, I admit, I find absolutely ridiculous. I shudder when I look back and see some of the unsavory things we did during the Tonya Harding- Nancy Kerrigan affair. Making a reporter stand all night in Kerrigan's driveway. Jeez." In a sidebar, MEN's JOURNAL takes an informal poll to determine the top sportswriters in the U.S. Twenty-one are named (MEN'S JOURNAL, 2/98 issue). ON THE BEAT: WASHINGTONIAN magazine reports that Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon was offered more than $300,000 and a signing bonus to go to the Chicago Tribune. He remained at the Post, and in doing so may "have topped $200,000" in his annual salary (WASHINGTONIAN, 2/98).