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Indy Star major shakeup...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by vonnegutnaked2, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. I know this came up on the job board, but figured it was worth a thread here.

    Pacers beat writer Mike Wells is going to the Colts beat as the lead guy. Mike Chappell is being dropped to the No. 2 guy on that.

    David Woods is off the Butler beat. Terry Hutchens is off the IU beat. Both have been reassigned.

    Haven't heard word on guys like Phillip B. Wilson.

    Anyone have any more information or any other insight.

    I worked for four years just south of Indy and crossed paths with a lot of these guys at various events. Since leaving the business, I still check out the Star every day. I have a lot of respect for the work of those aforementioned guys and those guys always seemed to own their beats.

    Very intrigued to watch all of this play out.
  2. dragonzo

    dragonzo Guest

    Hutchens will apparently be covering recruiting and Woods will still be covering Olympic sports, I believe. Other than that, sounds like they'll be hiring from outside for IU, Butler and Pacers beats.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

  4. dragonzo

    dragonzo Guest

    Not sure, that's just what I've heard second-hand.
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Wasn't it George Solomon who advocated switching up beat reporters every few years? That seems insane now, as personal branding and deep sourcing has become so much more relevant than good game stories.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That might be the case if Chappell was being reassigned to IU or the Pacers. But sounds like he's just being demoted. And Hutchens has been on IU for about 15 years, I believe.
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    True, but the sports department is under new management, which could mean new priorities. Maybe the second Colts position is now the more traditional one, and the lead will be more Web-focused. It's foolish to jump to judgments without a full explanation.
  8. dragonzo

    dragonzo Guest

    So much for my knowledge. Per Twitter, Star has promoted online guy Zak Keefer to cover Butler.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I think the full explanation is "more Gannett crap." I'm an IU grad and was a longtime Indy resident/Star reader, and Hutchens was outstanding on that beat. He posted all the above moves on his Facebook last night and took the high road, but for him to be put on recruiting while they pull in some outsider for a beat that he owned is asinine.

    Chappell has been covering the Colts forever, unless he asked to slow down a little I can't imagine why he'd be sent to No. 2, to be replaced by a guy who was entrenched with an up-and-coming Pacers team. Lemme take a flying guess that the new IU and Pacers hires won't exactly get top dollar. And I'll be very surprised if when the musical chairs stop, there aren't enough chairs for everyone.

    Sorry for the pessimism and I guess I could be wrong, but I've watched that paper decline for years. And its call center still hollers at me once a year to renew my home delivery, never mind the fact that I've been in Florida since 2010.
  10. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Which newspaper hasn't declined for years?
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I have a really hard time believing this is anything other than a straight demotion. As pointed out, it'd be one thing if they moved him to the Pacers or IU, but taking a guy who is widely considered the be the go-to-guy for Colts news for well over a decade, there's something going on here.

    I haven't read Chappell as much as I used to when I was still covering the NFL, but I always thought he did a great job.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    True. Maybe they're just adding a second person to the beat. There are a lot of papers who have 2-3 writers on NFL beats and none are really considered backups.
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