It was announced yesterday that sports columnists Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich left Gannett’s Louisville Courier-Journal to join WDRB television station.
Crawford, who joined the newspaper in 1992 as a sports clerk and whose father was a longtime Courier-Journal news columnist, explains in his debut WDRB.com column why he changed jobs:
I loved being in the newspaper. I did not love the newspaper business. Sportswriters get front-row seats. But the shrinking of a newspaper I grew up with and loved was not something I cared to watch from the inside any longer.
There were too many meetings run by executives in Arlington, Va., too many “news” initiatives dictated from afar that detracted from news needs on the ground here. And in the end, there were too few of my colleagues left in the building, too many gifted people with productive years left being spun back into the community instead of staying where they belonged, inside that building to cover it.
It wasn’t the fault of local editors and publishers. They could no more stop the slide than they could stop severe storms. If left to call the shots on their own, I have no doubt that a different course would have been set for the newspaper long ago, and its status today would have been far different. But no one in Louisville, ultimately, is calling the shots for Louisville’s paper.