While the sales of the Boston Globe and the Washington Post have dominated media news the past week, another seismic tremor hit an industry that’s gone largely unnoticed.
Imagine the Knoxville News Sentinel announcing that beginning with the upcoming season it was outsourcing coverage of University of Tennessee football. Well, in Iowa City, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes, that’s exactly what the city’s Iowa City Press-Citizen plans to do, according to a respected journalism news website. Instead, the P-C will run coverage from its sister Gannett paper, the Des Moines Register, 114 miles from Iowa City.
“This is a Big Ten town! I think we’d be the only Big Ten town that doesn’t have the local newspaper covering college sports,” said KCJJ-TV owner Steve Soboroff.
At least on the surface, the news would seem consistent with the massive amount of layoffs that have occurred at Gannett over the last couple of weeks.
Still, I went over to the P-C’s website to check out sports stories. Here’s a story done by a Register sports writer headlined: ‘Hawkeyes announce another player departure.’ Here’s another one by the same Register writer: ‘Ex-Hawkeye Ballard making impact with Vikings‘
Imagine the KNS farming out a major story on the Vols’ quarterbacks and wide receivers. Well, at the P-C there’s this, ‘Hawkeyes jittery about QB, receiver positions as practice begins,’ authored by another Register sports writer.
Newspapers should note that the interception rate of Hail Mary passes is 33 percent, compared to the overall rate of 2.7 in the NFL. Looks like here’s another MSM pass destined to be intercepted by social media.
UPDATE: Iowa Press-Citizen sports editor Ryan Suchomel was let go Tuesday. http://jimromenesko.com/2013/08/07/ryan-suchomel-is-out-as-iowa-city-press-citizen-sports-editor/ …
UPDATE: The Press-Citizen Is Abandoning Iowa Sports, And That’s Awful News
UPDATE: I’m told that the paper had decided to use the Register’s resources for Hawkeyes coverage rather than cut another Press-Citizen newsroom position.