Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sporting News Cuts Staff, Significantly: 12 Writers/Editors Fired in Surprising Bloodbath

Ax Falls (tired Joe joke).

There’s no way to put this delicately – it was a bad day at the Sporting News.

Sources tell me that the Sporting News fired around 12 writers/editors today, and here’s a partial list of those who were let go:

* Lisa Olson, one of the last remaining members of the AOL Fanhouse “merger”* from 2011
* Clifton Brown, formerly of the NY Times, whose most recent column and mugshot are on the front page of the Sporting News right now
* Stan McNeal, their baseball columnist whose prediction column went up today
* Matt Crossman, who wrote one of the stronger Honey Badger columns of 2012

I’m not sure of the officially tally, but I imagine a body count will trickle out by the weekend. A source mentioned the Sporting News could be looking to wipe Fanhouse off the site (it’s 9:45 pm and I don’t see Fanhouse anywhere), which would come just two years after the two clumsily became partners.

Repoz Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:21 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4398274)
This is 'surprising'? It was my impression it has been going downhill financially for a while.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4398277)
There's still a Sporting News?
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4398310)
Matt Crossman, who wrote one of the stronger Honey Badger columns of 2012


Normally I would google this sort of thing but I'm at work and I'm afraid what I might get for results. What is a "Honey Badger column?"
   4. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4398317)
I assume it's something to do with the cretinous druggie with that nonsensical nickname who got kicked off LSU's football team because he got caught being a cretinous druggie.

Many hands were wrung, though I don't recall why. Well, I guess I do -- because he played defensive backfield rather well.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4398329)
not to dredge up any bad memories but i vividly recall my last attended sabr event in Cincinnati where a member of the sporting news gave an impassioned defense of the sporting news and how it would continue to be a real presence in the sports news area.

i kept my mouth shut but as a courtesy because it was a dead business and just didn't want to accept that fact. (a common failing for almost all businesses in that situation)

just hope that anything tangible still held by the sporting news in some capacity isn't lost. gotta wonder what will happen to those archives or if they even still exist. it's stuff like that that gets pitched as the business changes hands repeatedly and some beancounter determines storage costs can no longer be tolerated
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4398343)
because it was a dead business and just didn't want to accept that fact. (a common failing for almost all businesses in that situation)

I've been through this. Senior management never seems to accept the end, and try to preserve as much capital for the shareholders as they can. Presumably, b/c senior management continues to be richly compensated as long as they pretend they are a going concern.
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4398351)
* Lisa Olson, one of the last remaining members of the AOL Fanhouse “merger”* from 2011


I remember her from the Zeke Mowatt incident.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4398357)
I thought TSN died along with Francisco Franco and Jimmy Hoffa.

just hope that anything tangible still held by the sporting news in some capacity isn't lost. gotta wonder what will happen to those archives or if they even still exist.

TSN's archives were almost entirely auctioned off in bulk via Mastro and Leland's in the late 90's. During those auctions, I bought large lots of Willard Mullin original artwork at prices ranging from about $50 each for a large lot of Yankees-related work to nearly $1000 for a Jackie Robinson profile. They also auctioned many tens of thousands of photos, of which I was lucky enough to buy about a thousand. The recent owners' respect for their publication's own history is rivaled only by the respect that John Henry Williams displayed for his father's corpse. To call it shameful is a major understatement.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4398365)
Stan McNeal, their baseball columnist whose prediction column went up today


If he didn't name that column "The Real Deal with Stan McNeal", he deserved to get fired.
   10. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4398377)
TSN really dispatched the FanHouse gang like they were Stalin or a Byzantine or Chinese emperor. They still haven't yet matched the monthly traffic that FanHouse itself was doing before the acquisition.

Whitley was the guy who was a total Richard about Kaepernick's tattoos and made a real fool of himself.
   11. Zach Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4398401)
Presumably, b/c senior management continues to be richly compensated as long as they pretend they are a going concern.

I would imagine it's hard for someone with expertise, organizational ability, seniority and some history of success in a particular field to decide that the organization's best move is not to do that anymore. Especially if the field is contracting rather than collapsing outright.
   12. zonk Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4398415)
just hope that anything tangible still held by the sporting news in some capacity isn't lost. gotta wonder what will happen to those archives or if they even still exist. it's stuff like that that gets pitched as the business changes hands repeatedly and some beancounter determines storage costs can no longer be tolerated


If they've digitized it in at least some form (assuming you're just talking about content), I have to imagine it's never going to die. Data has become a ghost - and anyone that tells you it's gone forever is wrong...

I've actually been musing on this recently (I just found out what we pay for a company to 'dispose' of old laptops/desktops/servers... and am really thinking I need a new career because playing garbageman in an e-world appears to pay VERY well) - data always goes somewhere. Even when you pitch a server, it's almost always still somewhere else.

Increasingly, everybody seems to be going in the opposite directions with the cloud nonsense -- assuming/thinking they're just making it someone else's problem. Why not commoditize it? Why not send it somewhere for pennies on the dollar? Google does a ton of this -- they're not digitizing every book under the sun because they worry about I-Rod having only book spines in his fine library and this content being "lost"... they're doing it because they know that no matter what the hype cycle on services, applications, etc... Data is and will always be king.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4398436)
zonk

it's possible there are liability concerns that other companies shy away from accepting that keep the population of 'garbagemen' suppressed.
   14. Moeball Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4398443)
When my dad passed away we were going through all his personal effects and found every issue of TSN from something like 1962 up to about 1997 or something like that. I think my brother wound up taking the whole collection to his place.

The best thing about TSN I remember from my childhood was they had all the boxscores and recaps of the games each week. You'd be surprised how much research you can do with just the boxscores even if you don't have the play-by-play for each game.
   15. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4398446)
If they've digitized it in at least some form (assuming you're just talking about content), I have to imagine it's never going to die. Data has become a ghost - and anyone that tells you it's gone forever is wrong...


I work in a big archive that's deeply invested in all sort of digital archiving. I don't work on the theoretical end of it so I don't really know the details, but the standard view among archivists is that a vast amount of digital data disappears regularly. There's a huge push on to try to come up with ways to archive what's called born digital material (i.e., something that never existed in a hard copy) and no one has yet come up with a solution that everyone is happy with. There are lots of issues -- changes in hardware and in digital formats, encryption, copyright, just to name a few (and frankly I don't know enough to go much further). Even distribution doesn't necessarily help, because if there are copies sitting on three different servers and no one has any way of knowing that, what good is that?

My employer is spending a lot of time right now working on databases of distributed, cooperative archiving. IOW, who has hard copy and digital versions of what, and what conditions those are stored under. This includes the financial conditions of the storing institution -- knowing who is likely to have to clear shelf space or fire IT staff and turn off some servers is a big part of all of this.

(I just found out what we pay for a company to 'dispose' of old laptops/desktops/servers... and am really thinking I need a new career because playing garbageman in an e-world appears to pay VERY well)


Because of electronic waste laws you just can't chuck an old laptop (with all its mercury and lead and etc) into a landfill. So disassembling one to recycle parts and to deal with the toxic parts is an expensive process. Harveys is also right about liability. Also, I would assume that usually one can't legally read the data off of an old server and use it, though I don't know about this. Regardless, any company with a minimally intelligent IT staff will at least overwrite the drives with a random collection of ones and zeros. A competent staff will disassemble the drives and shred the patters.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4398451)
Harveys is also right

if only everyone on this site (and my wife) could learn and accept this concept

would make things so much easier.............................
   17. zonk Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4398469)
Because of electronic waste laws you just can't chuck an old laptop (with all its mercury and lead and etc) into a landfill. So disassembling one to recycle parts and to deal with the toxic parts is an expensive process. Harveys is also right about liability. Also, I would assume that usually one can't legally read the data off of an old server and use it, though I don't know about this. Regardless, any company with a minimally intelligent IT staff will at least overwrite the drives with a random collection of ones and zeros. A competent staff will disassemble the drives and shred the patters.


Oh sure.... I was/am something of a digital equipment packrat - more personally because you never know when an old component might come in handy in a pinch. Anyway - wanting to love mother earth, I finally ditched a couple of old desktops and laptops the 'right way'. Just looking for the local city place where you can drop off such e-waste, I ran across one of those companies (there appear to be several) that will 'pay you' for components (i.e., generally the various boards within a system). So, I dutifully broke up the equipment, pulled the pieces they'd accept, shipped off to them for free, and some (long) time later, got a piddly check back.

This left me with the casing - which could be recycled (at least, I called and asked and the city said that was OK) with other standard recyclables... the harddrive (which most places won't take), and the power supply. The harddrives I just kept -- heck, they're small (though, only 25 to 100 gbs) and I guess yaneverknow with storage. The power supply, I did find a place that would just 'take' them -- I suppose if I wanted to be really parsimonious, I could have stripped it down, too -- and recycled the copper, etc (but then been left with the truly worthless/hazardous pieces).

I get the certifications our disposal contractor has -- whatever-level destruction of the HD and the environmentally sound e-waste disposal... and I also get that an enterprise-level contract scales up pretty quickly from cleaning out your closet.

I'm just saying that from a security perspective -- all you really need to deal with is the HD. While I definitely understand - just from some very difficult personal recoveries of my own - that this isn't as easy as a wipe/delete, ultimately -- this can be managed. Most employees just aren't going to have something all that sensitive on their machines - and you can pretty easily classify the ones you need to worry about. Setting aside maybe folks in HR - who might employee data - you can solve this with simple time.... Most stuff on most folks' machines that's more of a mission critical nature gets obsolete/not worth the effort in 6 months. ID/PW retrieval is also an issue -- but since you're ultimately swapping out cards (by swapping machines), why not just work it into your system that a UID using a new piece of equipment automatically triggers a PW force change? Voila... the PWs on the machine are now relatively useless (people with admin/superuser PWs aside, I guess).

Anyway, I really do get the security and disposal concerns... I'm just saying that knowing the per-piece price, I see a rather massive, extraordinary overspend on something that could be done MUCH more cheaply.
   18. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4398477)
Stan McNeal, their baseball columnist whose prediction column went up today

Wonder if he predicted his impending unemployment...
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4398490)
A source mentioned the Sporting News could be looking to wipe Fanhouse off the site


There's still a Fanhouse? Well, I guess not anymore.
   20. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: March 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4398497)
Wonder if he predicted his impending unemployment...


That would be a great column to read if he had known ahead of time. The Astros will win the world series. Least Valuable Player: My Editor. Comeback Player of the Year: Me! Stan McNeal! #### you gys!
   21. KJOK Posted: March 28, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4398537)
Well, this from the comments section is close to the same thing I guess:

just went to the SN site for the first time in forever… while scrolling through the front page they have a SN twitter section…. where tweets from Steve Greenberg are still showing up talking about his layoff.


   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4398604)
Oh sure.... I was/am something of a digital equipment packrat - more personally because you never know when an old component might come in handy in a pinch. Anyway - wanting to love mother earth, I finally ditched a couple of old desktops and laptops the 'right way'. Just looking for the local city place where you can drop off such e-waste, I ran across one of those companies (there appear to be several) that will 'pay you' for components (i.e., generally the various boards within a system). So, I dutifully broke up the equipment, pulled the pieces they'd accept, shipped off to them for free, and some (long) time later, got a piddly check back.


I too have a pile of cables, video cards, old power supplies, RAM, etc. So hard to throw out that something when you just know it MIGHT be the one pain in the ass part you need. I believe Best Buy will recycle e-waste for free. Worth a check with your local store (if you have one).
   23. Shredder Posted: March 28, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4398610)
I remember her from the Zeke Mowatt incident.
"She's a lovely lady, and my apologies to her."
   24. Sean Forman Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4398688)
I think Andy is only partially right about the archive. Steve Giestcher (i know I spelled it wrong, Sorry Steve) was in charge in the early to mid 2000's and he relayed a story where he had negotiated a nice soft landing when Paul Allen sold to the Business Journal guys for it at Saint Louis U., but new BizJournal owners came in and decided that this stuff was too valuable, so it's probably still in the same Charlotte conference room it was last seen seven years ago.
   25. Sean Forman Posted: March 28, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4398691)
I love how discussions on bbtf can include a reasonably well formed business plan.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBrisbee: Adam Wainwright and the Jan Bradys of years past
(9 - 6:35pm, Sep 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOld Cuban stars don’t begrudge ballplayers who defect - The Boston Globe
(3 - 6:33pm, Sep 23)
Last: Perry

NewsblogMLB creates pace of game committee
(101 - 6:29pm, Sep 23)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-23-2014
(25 - 6:28pm, Sep 23)
Last: BDC

NewsblogGene Collier: No shame in staying home for Pirates
(14 - 6:26pm, Sep 23)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogChad | Have a heart! Root for the Royals
(33 - 6:23pm, Sep 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

Newsblog10 Degrees: Why WAR doesn’t always add up
(342 - 6:02pm, Sep 23)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3557 - 5:56pm, Sep 23)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogMets near extension with GM Alderson
(38 - 5:55pm, Sep 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogBaseball Caught Looking as Fouls Injure 1,750 Fans a Year
(163 - 5:47pm, Sep 23)
Last: CrosbyBird

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(389 - 5:40pm, Sep 23)
Last: Sean Forman

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(265 - 5:27pm, Sep 23)
Last: Srul Itza

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(221 - 5:07pm, Sep 23)
Last: SouthSideRyan

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2014
(8 - 4:59pm, Sep 23)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogCalcaterra: If Bobby Cox has anything to say about it, Fredi Gonzalez will manage the Braves for a long time
(20 - 4:59pm, Sep 23)
Last: TerpNats

Page rendered in 0.2877 seconds
52 querie(s) executed