RE: The Merger Between the News and the Star-T

Based on my conversations with interested parties at both papers (and some folks on the outside), there are several hot sports opinions that should be aired about this sports-department merger. Jump if so inclined:

It should be noted that some of the fellas who cover sports for both papers already have their own private little “JOA’’ (Joint Operating Agreement) in the sense that they already share notes so as not to get beat on the beat. Little wonder that ESPN breaks more Cowboys stories than both papers combined.

There are strong rumors that the Morning News sports department, which now includes about 60 people, will be carved down to about 50 people within the next few months. Some of that carve-down process is a result of the quasi-merger. Part of it is more hat-holding.

This is not yet a done deal, remember. And among those who are unhappy with the News’ sorta-announcement/leak: some management people at the Star-T who aren’t convinced this is the right thing to do. They think the News is being rather bullying by going forward with the plan without the (yet) full consent of the Star-T.

The Star-Telegram remains very parochial. (Understandable, if you’re them; Tarrant County is growing much faster than Dallas County.) They were happy to grab the Rangers as a beat because they think of the Rangers as their “local’’ team. They took the NASCAR beat, too, because it’s logistically attractive.

So, once the Star-T signs off on this, the News will run ST stories on the Rangers and motorsports. And the ST will run News stories on the Stars and the Mavs. And both papers will continue to “compete’’ on the Cowboys, though at one point, the ST was actually considered giving up the Cowboys to the News. Which, as someone must have realized, didn’t make sense since the Cowboys are moving to Tarrant County, remember.

The only semi-winner in this thing, on the surface, would seem to be Nancy’s BFF, Evan Grant, the fine Rangers beat writer who is getting “promoted’’ to Morning News beat writer for the Cowboys. Not sure if he thinks it’s a promotion (Nancy won’t say … b****). He’ll go from full ownership of the Rangers to competing with ESPN trying to break Cowboys stories. And I have no idea how much he likes football, but I KNOW he absolutely lives for stuff between the lines (the games) and even the geeky stuff in the off-season, like the baseball winter meetings. So even the winner loses.


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10 responses to “RE: The Merger Between the News and the Star-T

  1. sneaky says:

    Hey Eric … the prospect of people losing their jobs is way too sensitive a subject for you to start throwing around the term “strong rumors” and then having the nerve to actually put a number with it. That is so inappropriate, I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps you should wait for something to happen before you start kicking dirt on people who are already on edge because of the circumstances.

  2. MikeNFrisco says:

    If the Rangers were worth a s*** Evan would still be on the Rangers beat. To me the Cowboys beat is ultra-competitive because of the national attention they garner. For Evan I would think the Rangers are like a big comfy chair that the wife wants to throw out. For that reason, I would want to stay with the Rangers. But for ego purposes I guess the Cowboy promotion could be a positive. Just get ready Evan, you’re going from the the fishbowl to the shark tank (and I’m not talking about the players).

  3. Tim Rogers says:

    @ sneaky: If Eric did that — if, instead of talking to his sources and reporting what they’ve told him (couching that information as what it really is, a strong rumor), he just waited for something to happen — then I’d fire him for being lazy. Good journalists get out there and get it done.

    Job well done, Eric!

  4. sneaky says:

    Tim, good journalists should be sure they get it right.

  5. Bethany says:

    If it’s a commentary – which is what is typically on a blog, wouldn’t it be semi-educated prognosticating, and allowed?

  6. yeah, right says:

    So for consistency, frontburner will publish all strong rumors about layoffs at D Magazine rather than shutting down the blog??

  7. Brent D. says:

    Can’t we all just be happy that Evan’s finally writing about something we care to read?

  8. al says:

    eric hears that the local paper might lay off 20 percent of his staff and yall think he shouldn’t report it?
    i didn’t sense eric being snarky about it, or unsympathetic. he’s commenting on a major story, a major movement in the way journalism works in his city. that’s fair game.
    the news is free, im sure, to report on any struggles D is having, if it wishes to do so.
    ps. it seems to me that eric probably got his layoff info from people who are subject to possible layoffs, or at least deeply involved in that process. there’s no dancing on graves here.

  9. Roving Gambler says:

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter …

    It’s usually a no-win scenario to defend someone in a blog setting, but I’ll say only what I believe:

    Evan is a terrific writer, and has weathered enough tough circumstances covering the snakepit that was the Rangers under the petty, unprofessional direction of John Hart et al to be more than capable of handling the premier sports beat in America. There isn’t a better combination of gifted writer and hard-nosed reporter in D/FW.

  10. Pigskinnie says:

    Roving Gambler,

    In real life do you go by the name Kenny Rogers? I seem to recall that Evan was the Gambler’s media buddy…