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No sports editor???

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mltru2tx, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. mltru2tx

    mltru2tx Member

    So, the Denton Record-Chronicle (Texas) has laid off their sports editor as one of four cuts last week.

    He won't be replaced, and the section is moving to a universal desk with all of the news side copy desk folks supposedly going to handle layout and stuff.

    I'm just wondering what everyone thinks of this? Is this signaling the beginning of the end of the "sports editor" position. I know a lot of papers are starting to do the universal desk thing, but the ones I know of (Scripps papers in Texas, for instance) still have sports editors.

    The section isn't a slouch either, I mean, they won a Triple Crown this year at APSE.
  2. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Not having one in name I think is a way to keep a staff member from getting a raise (another cost-cutter). There is a sports editor there, making assignments and taking the crap calls, even if the title isn't. I don't like it at all, but that's the way some want to cut the corners.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Heck, my last shop just laid off its editor. The paper will be supervised by the editor of a sister paper 60 miles down the road.

    No one seems to be able to figure out who is really in charge.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Didn't Springfield just drop theirs? Sacramento got rid of theirs.
  5. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., has been working with effectively no sports editor for some time. They have one editor who runs both sports and features.

    Biloxi is a McClatchy paper. Denton is Belo, right?
  6. The DRC is a Belo shop.

    We've got no SE. No plans to hire an SE. There's somebody that's been "appointed" to help oversee things, but he's the web guy as well.

    Apparently, by canning the SE and taking away the guy that did 70% of the layout and dumping it all on the desk, its going to make it so us sports dudes won't have to touch a design computer ever again. I'm still waiting to see how that works out.
  7. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure Monroe News Star has been operating sans sports editor for a year now. I guess one of the news editors "manages" the sports department, but from what I gather it's pretty much the sailors steering the ship.
  8. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    It will work out swimmingly, until one of those designers who doesn't know a home run from a touchdown does something stupid and drowning will occur for about a week while you smooth everything back out.
  9. Balthier

    Balthier Member

    If only there was an organization of sports editors (which they would pay yearly dues to be a part of) that whose, oh, I don't know, "leadership" would stop their stupid naval-gazing for a while, get off the diversity high horse they created for themselves with their buddy-job promises to each other of their kind (white, men) as they sip their drinks and jet set to conferences around the country to get their pictures taken with athletes they invite as "speakers" to take a moment and, hmmm, let's say release some sort of statement or, at the very least, act like they carewhat's going on. The head of the Indianapolis Writer's Guild skewered suits when Gannett purged some great papers - including realizing they could survive without a sports editor at one that I know of. I'm sure that guy was busy, yet he took time to write something up and let those people know he had their backs (despite what little good it did). I know, that week was the Boston Conference for our APSE buddies. They couldn't be bothered. But, hello, still waiting ... crickets, crickets, crickets.
  10. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Last newspaper (not shop!) I worked at did just that when the SE left for another job. They took the very hard-working ASE and simply gave him the SE's duties, without giving him the title or the salary. BS.
  11. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    At one of our corporate sisters, they didn't hire a new SE, just a "sports reporter." This was due to having horrid luck with SE's quitting or causing situations which got them fired and the only adequate replacement being the ME's son. They didn't want him on salary to keep from appearing that the job was a favor of some sort. So he had all the duties but no title and had to keep from working overtime. Lucky for him, his paper didn't have a full college athletics program to cover, which would have helped make it impossible to stay under 40 hours most of the time.

    He's had to leave for health reasons but I don't think his replacement will be given a title, either. They don't have to pay a "sports reporter" as much as a "sports editor." But there's no difference in the duties.
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I've seen the reality is that a department cannot exist in a vacuum. When there is no official SE, someone has to step up and take on those responsibilities.

    Classic example: our sports editor left and it took 2 months till a replacement came on. In the meantime, I took on a lot of those duties, scheduling, planning coverage, dealing with reader phone calls/emails, corresponding with other departments, getting a stringer, etc. In addition to my own usual writing, paginating duties. It was exhausting and I was happy to have an official SE in place, but it taught me a lot and helped me become prepared for the day I'm charged with all of that stuff.
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