By T.J. Simers
I give up. Maybe the last straw was the hiring of someone from the University of Washington Monday to serve as USC athletic director.
It was news to the LA Times, reporter Brady McCollough writing in the Times’ story: “ESPN’s Pete Thamel was the first to report the hire.”
I thought everyone from ESPN had just been fired.
This was USC, located in the LA Times’ backyard and former sports editor Bill Dwyre would have gone newspaper crazy asking why none of his reporters didn’t have the story first.
Dwyre is now moving from California to Baltimore on Sunday, and maybe that’s another reason to give up. He had the best sports department in the country for decades, great stories to tell and a passion as a really ancient journalist to keep the Times on top.
He offered to help the newspaper several times but was rebuked and ignored. On occasion they let him write in his retirement, but he was willing to return as an advisor to the sports editor, and I think it’s pretty obvious there is someone who needs help.
For one thing he would have put reporter Brady McCollough to work, McCollough showing up to write every decade or so and I wonder why the Times had no clue who was being hired as USC’s athletic director?
And it happened before 3 p.m.
The Times ran a story about the USC search for a new AD yesterday with a picture of Minnesota AD Mark Coyle as if he was now the favorite. The story mentioned a half dozen possible candidates for the post but never mentioned the woman who was named USC AD a day later.
It’s one thing to offer a horrible product, but a complete clueless whiff on a story that has now played out for months speaks to how far the sports section has slipped. And Dwyre is headed to Baltimore.
Maybe the last straw came in a twitter message Monday from former San Diego Union-Tribune sports editor Jay Posner: “I know it was exhibition and I know it’s only the Chargers but did you notice their game yesterday ended just before 7:20 and not a single word in the Times print today. Not even anything explaining why the game was played when city and state officials told people not to leave home. But we did get to read about the Angels DH split from Saturday.”
That’s the Los Angeles Chargers, Mr. San Diego, and the LA Times should care about them now.
The expectation, of course from Posner was that I would write about it and criticize the LA Times which doesn’t live up to Union-Tribune standards.
Then I get a series of tweets from former LA Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth on Monday about the inconsistencies and poor coverage in the Times. He concludes one message by writing: “TJSimerspage2 may have thoughts on how this also took a full page of Sunday’s tiny print edition.”
First of all, it is “tjpage2.blog.”
But I have given up. The LA Times’ sports section as it appears in the newspaper is an abomination. The LA Times no longer cares what they deliver in the newspaper, circulation dwindling and fewer and fewer people to read a blog who even know what I am referring to when I write.
The best story to appear in the newspaper in recent memory was Dwyre’s tribute to columnist Jim Murray. And Dwyre is moving to Baltimore, no more of our Lazy Dog lunches every few weeks to discuss the good old days.
They no longer exist, the full-page story in the LA Times sports section with pictures recently in a column by Helene Elliott on former UCLA golfer Lilia Vu.
I read the first nine paragraphs, a LA County record for reading that , much of an Elliott column without quitting, and still don’t know why she wrote it or why the LA Times used its entire first page to showcase it.
The simple explanation is the Times doesn’t care.
Speaking of turning off readers, I offered to return and work for nothing except for a donation to a children’s hospital, but never heard back from Publisher Patrick Soon-Shiong. Former Times’ editor Davan Maharaj told me it wasn’t my job to help the misfortunate, so maybe that remains the Times’ community policy.
But if the Times really is trying to kill the printed newspaper, why not bring back Page 2 to finish the job?
I’ve been sending my blogs by email to the laboratory where Soon-Shiong is searching for the cure for cancer. Soon-Shiong is registered as a “friend” on my twitter account, but apparently we’re not close friends.
I’ve changed. I didn’t make fun of Elliott’s column earlier because frankly I’ve lost interest. If that’s the story the LA Times sports editor thinks is going to rock its readership, suggesting alternatives is a lost cause.
Beyond lost subscribers, there’s no outcry from folks in Los Angeles about how their hometown paper gets worse day by day. They don’t care.
I’ve joined that club.