Jay Mariotti: Savvy?

In a move that is as shocking as it is pleasing, Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Around the Horn superstar Jay Mariotti has left the newspaper after a 17-year-tenure. His reasoning? Newspapers are on life-support: ↵
↵⇥Just back from Beijing where he wrote about the Summer Olympics, Mariotti said in a phone interview Tuesday night that he decided to quit after it became clear while in China that sports journalism had become "entirely a Web site business. There were not many newspapers there.'' He added that most of the journalists covering the Games were "there writing for Web sites.'' … ↵⇥

↵⇥He said that he "is talking with a lot of Web sites'' and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers.'' … ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"To see what's happened in this business...I don't want to go down with it.'' ↵⇥

↵
↵So, it seems that the Sun-Times sent Mariotti to Beijing, where he had some sort of awakening as he was pounding away on his typewriter in the media center, while surrounded by internet columnists, bloggers and the like. For many members of the old school (see: newspaper print media), this probably would have caused them to become more indignant towards the web, stubbornly insisting that newspapers shall never die. But, amazingly, Mariotti knew better. And for that – this pains me to say – he deserves some kudos. ↵

↵Let’s not get this twisted, though: I in no way appreciate Mariotti’s writing, in general, and down right loathe anything he does on television. Furthermore, I have no idea where he fits into this brave new cyberspace he’s embracing. Having said that, it is the right move for him to make. Although, granted, it’s not a move most print writers are in a position to make. ↵

↵

↵Mariotti has somehow managed to parlay his column writing into some level of sports media celebrity status. So, for him, there’s not much risk in quitting the newspaper business now, despite not having a clear future. In the short run, he can continue to milk ESPN for appearance fees. In the long term, he’ll dupe some site into overpaying him for content as he avoids going down with the newspaper industry. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.