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tom jolly/"sports of the times" columnists

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by shockey, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    he's reduced them to two -- rhoden and vecsey, who admits he's near retirement at 70. jolly wants their beat folks to also write "analysis" pieces, disturbing on several levels -- not the least of which is that time times has mocked tabs like the n.y. post and daily news for giving everyone columnist rights.

    here's the take of murray chase, ex-timesmen whi is no doubt bitter over his forced retirement. nonetheless i tend to agree:


    another disclosure: i miss the stylings of harvey araton, a dear friend and one of our most literary sports reads. he's out of the department now, doing investigative features paper-wide -- not by choice. in essence, jolly has "chosen" to have william c. rhoden as his only "sports of the times" person left tying once george retires.
  2. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Here's a feature that's been in the paper 70 years, with three Pulitzer winners. Let's get rid of it!!! Let's make our sports section more like ESPN!!!
    If I'm the publisher, this guy's been thrown out of a job and down a flight of stairs.
    By the way, Shock, there's been a thread on Murray's piece, so prepare for the d_b brigade,
  3. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    spit, i must have overlooked it. my bad. but i'd argue this is an important enough issue to merit a fresh look. where can i find the original?

    EDIT: i found it on page 2 of the "death of the general sports columnist" thread. and while i agree with folks hitting at murray for being a bitter man with a grude/hatred of jolly, i thought many of his points out of the personal realm were spot on.

    again, not railing against those with anti-chassleanings -- yes, i, too, often found his subject matter a bore with obvious leftist leanings -- but that does not mean several points were without merit.

    for example, choosing to show how a "sports of the times" guy like dave anderson would pick his brain for perspective to get up to speed on the subject matter while writing a game column is the way the best columnists and their beat guys have alwayss gone about their business best. murray should have written it softer instead of the "ask ME" for input deal, but hey, it is his blog.
  4. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    If you want to take a cynical view, you could say that it's harder to control general sports columnists than beat writers, and they get independent, and go on "The Sports Reporters," and they want to do what they want.

    On the other hand, Murray Chass undermines his credibility in his blog with this incredible cheap shot:

    But Jolly, working for a newspaper desperately trying to stay alive, has heavily bought into gimmicks and is abandoning sound newspaper practices.

    “Tom was the Sunday editor for maybe three years in the 90s,” said a person who worked for the Times in the ‘90s. “I never thought of him as a journalist.”
  5. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Not the least bit disturbing.
    I'd rather read an opinion from someone who has legitimate expertise than someone trying to pass as an expert on everything.
    Araton was always best on basketball, for instance, because that's where his background (and his obvious passion) resided.
    (And cheap shots at Jolly, one of the best newspapermen I've known, are pure garbage. He got to the top of the Times on merit. It's not like he walked out of some Ivy League school and into the slot at the Times. That guy paid dues).
  6. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Murray Chass's piece, BTW, is a disgrace.
    His digression on the use of the word "I" would be comical if it weren't so sad.
    I -- oh, there's that word again - am closing in on 50. I absolutely 100 percent promise I will never be that bitter old man.
    I might become bitter (who knows what the next decade or two holds?) and I aspire to be old, but I will never stand here and tell the young 'uns how much better it was in "my day" and how everything that's done now is worse. It might have been better to us and the audience we served. It's not better for today's audience, or they'd be buying more. It couldn't be simpler than that.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    A lot of this was covered on the "Death of the general sports columnist."

  8. JackS

    JackS Member

    That's pure speculation on your part. You don't know that they won't replace Vecsey when he retires. Heck, they could move Araton back to his old slot if he's still around at the time.
  9. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    jolly was quoted as saying they're not replacing anyone. that's all i can go by.
  10. JackS

    JackS Member

    The line in the Observer story was not a direct quote from Jolly. Furthermore, it wasn't clear whether it meant there would be no replacements for already departed columnists, or also for those in the future.

    Plus, things change.

    We'll see what happens when Vecsey retires.
  11. ringer

    ringer Member

    This is odd because don't columnists sell papers and -- knowing that -- weren't columns the ONE thing the NYT charged people to read online a couple years ago? (Okay, so it was op-ed columns but still...)

    Clearly, the NYT values columnists - it's just its own sports section that doesn't.
  12. funky_mountain

    funky_mountain Active Member

    you're right, things change. but based on jolly's comments, including the ones on his twitter account, it's unlikely the times is going to have four, five columnists any day soon.

    and while shockey's comments may be speculation, his comments are not wild speculation such as "the times won't cover the yankees next year."

    jolly's isn't quoted directly as saying there will be no more than two columnists but re-reading what he was quoted as saying, it's pretty clear how he feels about the general columnist.

    and harvey araton is quoted in chass' story: "Tom has said however many times there are clearly going to be fewer than before," Araton said.

    with that said, i don't necessarily disagree with the reduction in columnists. though i would still like to read araton's sports columns. i've almost always enjoyed his nba columns.
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