The Newspaper Business Will Just Have To Die Without Jay Mariotti

Posted in Sports Journalism at 2:14 am by

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this morning that longtime columnist Jay Maritotti was leaving the paper “to pursue other opportunities.” Though there wouldn’t seem to be an unlimited number of opportunities to make Rex Grossman cry or to goad Ozzie Guillen into calling Jay a fag (professionally, anyway), wherever it happens next will probably be online Mariotti tells the Chicago Tribune’s Jim Kirk (links courtesy Jason Cohen).

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.” Mariotti said that he sent a resignation letter to Cyrus Freidheim, Sun-Times Media Group Chief Executive and Sun-Times Publisher. When asked via email by the Tribune whether Mariotti had resigned, Sun-Times Editor Michael Cooke responded, “You’re kidding?”

“I’m a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn’t compete,” Mariotti said. “Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high stakes competition in Chicago are over.

“To see what’s happened in this business…I don’t want to go down with it.”

3 responses to “The Newspaper Business Will Just Have To Die Without Jay Mariotti”

  1. kt says:

    damn, BURN!

    Release from the Sun-Times

    August 27, 2008

    Chicago Sun-Times Editor in Chief Michael Cooke issued the following statement today regarding the resignation of sports columnist Jay Mariotti:

    The Chicago Sun-Times had the best sports section in the city before Jay Mariotti came to town — that’s why he signed up with us — and his departure does not change that.

    We still have the stars — respected veterans such as Rick Telander, fiery newcomers such as Greg Couch, quirky voices like Carol Slezak, not to mention seasoned beat reporters tracking the Cubs and White Sox toward their eventual collision in the World Series, plus the Bears, the Bulls, the Blackhawks, and all the other teams that make Chicago the sports center of the nation. We could have a World Series in Chicago in a couple of months … talk about excitement!

    The Chicago Sun-Times and suntimes.com will continue to have the scores and the stories before anyone else, anywhere, and the deepest and most comprehensive stats and standings. We wish Jay well and will miss him — not personally, of course — but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days.

    A paper, like a sports franchise, is something that moves into the future. Stars come and stars go, but the Sun-Times sports section was, is and will continue to be the best in the city.

  2. kt says:

    i fucking love that chubby movie freak. his columns on non-film related stuff are always my favorites.

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