Influential College Basketball Writer Dick Weiss Among Layoffs At N.Y. Daily News
The N.Y. Daily News laid off several long-tenured writers yesterday, with the "total number of pink slips at around 15," according to sources cited by Joe Pompeo of CAPITAL NEW YORK. A source said that those who are “affected are being told that the headcount reduction is a result of a ‘restructuring’ at the paper with an emphasis on digital.” The Daily News has been “ramping up its digital operation this past year in a bid to capture national advertising dollars and grow its online reader base outside of New York” (CAPITALNEWYORK.com, 5/8). The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre noted longtime college basketball writer Dick "Hoops" Weiss, Sean Brennan and Tim Smith were among those "in sports at the Daily News who were let go" (TWITTER.com, 5/8).
TWITTER LOVE: Many in the media took to Twitter in support of Weiss. ESPN's Jay Bilas wrote, "No writer is more ingrained in the game's fabric than Dick 'Hoops' Weiss. While some Tweet through games, he watches the games. Respect." Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel tweeted, "Can't imagine Daily News w/o Hoops Weiss. From first days in business to Sandusky trial last summer, learned a lot about reporting from him." CBS' Armen Keteyian: "Hoops Weiss, an institution with all the right principles. His work taught others how to report. Keen eye. Completely respected. Sad day." USA Today's Dan Wolken: "Trying to think of something original to say about Hoops Weiss, but my colleagues have covered it. Great guy, and truly an institution." ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach wrote, "After me grilling him for a week, Jim Harrick looked up and saw Hoops Weiss at presser. Then he was really worried. Sad day in journalism." CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd tweeted, "I'm a better person because Dick Weiss is a mentor and a friend. No finer person exists." CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman: "Sad to hear news Hoops Weiss is out at NYDN. Besides being a true CB expert, he's also a guy who treated young reporters like an old buddy." NFL.com's Adam Schein wrote, "Dick Weiss is a NY legend, an iconic journalist. And one of the nicest people in the business. So sad to read he is out at NYDN." The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Bill Livingston posted, "Still trying to make sense of NYDN laying off one of most authoritative basketball writers in the country, my friend Dick Weiss.,Unreal."
HIESTAND SAYS GOODBYE: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand reports today is USA Today media columnist Michael Hiestand's "last day at the newspaper." Hiestand, who for 23 years wrote the paper's "influential sports TV column," is taking a "buyout that was offered to all long-term USA Today reporters and editors." He said of leaving, "It wasn't based on USA Today or any small details. I'm just ready to try new things" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/6 issue).