Thursday, August 28, 2008

'I'm Going To Be Honest With You, the Profession Is Dying'

I doubt too many folks in Chicago will be shedding tears today, though this could be a watershed moment in the death spiral of print journalism. Me, I saw this coming 20 years ago. Still, I have friends in the business and there's a lot of concern, for obvious reasons. There's plenty of room on the web, of course, but those coming over have a lot of catching up to do.

Mariotti Quits, Says Newspapers Are 'Dying'
In a bombshell announcement in the world of sports journalism, star columnist Jay Mariotti has abruptly resigned from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Only after taping his last ESPN TV from the Sun-Times newsroom today did Mariotti open up.

Mariotti told CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker that he decided to quit after covering the Olympics in Beijing because newspapers are in serious trouble, and he did not want to go down with the ship.

"It's been a tremendous experience, but I'm going to be honest with you, the profession is dying,'' Mariotti said, "I don't think either paper [Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune] is going to survive.

"To showcase your work ... you need a stellar Web site and if a newspaper doesn't have that, you can't be stuck in the 20th century with your old newspaper.''

Mariotti blamed the scandal-plagued past at the paper for its downfall. Former top execs Conrad Black and David Radler looted the company for millions of dollars, and both were sentenced to jail. The paper's ad revenues have been plummeting and more layoffs are expected.

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