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USA TODAY losing all NBA Reporters

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by dcdream, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. dcdream

    dcdream Member


    Four veteran black sports journalists are taking a voluntary buyout offered at USA Today, wiping out its NBA coverage team, the USA Today staffers told Journal-isms on Saturday.

    The four are: Lee Ivory, a deputy managing editor who formerly headed the USA Today Baseball (later Sports) Weekly; Roscoe Nance and David DuPree, who cover the NBA; and Chuck Johnson, a boxing writer who occasionally covers the NBA and the NFL.

    USA Today's first issue was published Sept. 15, 1982. The four black sports journalists taking the voluntary buyout have been in the business longer than their newspaper has been in existence.
    All have service in journalism — and sometimes with the parent Gannett Co. — that exceeds the lifetime of USA Today, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in September.

    The nation's largest newspaper announced plans in November to eliminate 45 newsroom jobs, or 8.8% of the editorial staff, through voluntary buyouts.

    In a memo to the staff, Editor Ken Paulson said, "It's unfortunate that we have to take these steps, particularly when our newspaper circulation is growing and USATODAY.com has been named the top news website in the country by the Online News Association. Unfortunately, revenue has not kept pace and we're now facing the same cutbacks that so many other news organizations have already experienced."

    The USA Today staffers said 172 people were eligible for the buyout, having at least 15 years' Gannett service.

    They said 43 staff members took it.

    Ivory was publisher and executive editor of the USA Today Sports Weekly until 2005, when the newspaper decided to merge the staffs of its 85-person sports section and its 22-person Sports Weekly. Ivory is also president of the Washington Association of Black Journalists, which was named "Chapter of the Year" this year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

    He told Journal-isms, "I've got a lot of irons in the fire" and that after working for someone else, "It's time to do something for myself." Ivory spent 24 years at USA Today, and 26 total with Gannett, arriving from the Shreveport (La.) Times. He is the brother of Bennie Ivory, executive editor of Gannett's Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

    Nance also didn't "really have any concrete plans" and said he wanted to see what was available. He spent 21 years at USA Today and 29 with Gannett, arriving at the national paper from the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

    Johnson, speaking from Las Vegas, where he was covering the welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Britain's Ricky Hatton, said the buyout offer was unexpected and that staffers had two weeks to make a decision. "I'm going to continue to write," he told Journal-isms. "I hope to continue in sports, but all avenues are open." Johnson covered Major League Baseball for USA Today before switching to boxing in the spring of 2005. He has been in journalism for 32 years, and at USA Today for 19 years and 10 months. In 2000, he was named Sports Journalist of the Year by the NABJ Sports Task Force.

    DuPree, who joined USA Today 23 years ago after working at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, said he might try teaching or screenwriting. "Movies have always been my first love," he told Journal-isms. He said the buyouts leave the newspaper's NBA editor, Oscar Dixon, with no writers, as Greg Boeck is also taking the buyout. "That's the bed they made," DuPree said. "I'm sure they'll come up with something that works for them. But it has to be a blow. If you lose an entire desk in the middle of the season, it's got to hurt.

    "But one thing I've learned from sports is everyone's replaceable," he said.

    Paulson, the USA Today editor, was not available for comment, and no list of those taking the buyout has been released. However, the Society for News Design reported on Thursday that J. Ford Huffman, deputy managing editor of design, one of the paper's original architects and a 25-year veteran, accepted the buyout offer. He is a past national director of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
  2. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    1. It doesn't matter how good we appear, how popular we are with readers on Internet visitors.
    2. Gannett is unhappy that the profit margin is slipping from the mid-20 percents to the low 20 percents.

    Fuckabuncha a-hole, dead-body-lickin', bonus-enjoying, head-up-their-asses, bottom-line-worshipin' newspaper executives.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If USA Today stopped covering the NBA, would anybody notice?
  4. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    What are we going to do the next time LeBron James is hurt?
    I mean, I don't know where I can go to get six inches contained to the cover with one quote from an agent.
  5. seattleslot

    seattleslot New Member

    This is troubling. USA Today was one of the few newspapers whose circulation was UP in the last set of numbers. And these are some good people. I don't think anyone should make light of the fact this happened. Imagine if it was you. It probably should be, given the lack of intelligence of that last post. It's called tight writing. Get to know it, serve readers better and maybe you'll get out of your night desk job at the Kalamazoo Times.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    These are four people who freely took a voluntary buyout, according to the item, at least. So pardon me if I don't feel too sorry for them.

    As for how stupid the newspaper industry is. ... Well, if I didn't make fun of it, I'd be in the nuthouse.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Easy. First off. It was voluntary.
    Secondly. You assume I work for Kalamazoo Times. That's my destination paper.

    Now, six inches with one quote from an agent serves no one other than being on the record. That's not tight writing. It's like going to a restaurant that serves only appetizers.
    USA Today has an audience. It's just not the same one everyday.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Roscoe, David and Chuck have my greatest respect. I wish all three of them well.
  10. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Actually, it's the Kalamazoo Gazette. You'd better get to know the name of the paper before you hire in.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    This is a pretty incredible story.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Why is it incredible?

    Hardly seems out of the ordinary.
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