Iowa City radio station KCJJ reported Monday that the Iowa City Press-Citizen will stop covering University of Iowa Hawkeye sports and run stories from Des Moines Register sports reporters. (Both papers are owned by Gannett.) The Press-Citizen’s Pat Harty, who has covered the Hawkeyes for decades, will be reassigned to prep sports, according to the station’s report.
I called the Press-Citizen and was told by a newsroom leader who didn’t want to be identified — by name or title — that the paper will neither confirm nor deny the report.
KCJJ owner Steve Soboroff says the paper wants his report retracted, “but we have multiple sources confirming this.” (Harty also does work for the station, but he isn’t named as a source of the information.)
“If the paper ends up not doing this [outsourcing the coverage], it will only be because of the reaction to our report on Twitter and Facebook,” says Soboroff. “This is a Big Ten town! I think we’d be the only Big Ten town that doesn’t have the local newspaper covering college sports.”
I’ve also asked Des Moines Register sports editor Chad Leistikow about the radio station’s report.