Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mariotti didn’t have to be a jerk

Sports columnist Jay Mariotti is well within his rights to resign from the Chicago Sun-Times, but he didn’t have to be a jerk about it.

Instead of quietly arranging his departure by giving his editors sufficient advance notice to manage a smooth transition, he boorishly announced his decision to the competing Chicago media by babbling into every microphone in sight that “I don't think either paper is going to survive.”

(By at least one account, Jay actually quit in a snit because his editor rejected an idea for an upcoming column.)

Jay is right that both the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune are fighting to sustain circulation and sales.

But Chicago needs its newspapers. And the less-celebrated (and less well compensated) people who work at them still need their jobs.

Jay’s parting shot didn’t help the readers or employees who rely on the papers, because his comments may make it a little harder than it already is to sell enough ads and newspapers.

After being a high-profile columnist at the Sun-Times for 17 years, Jay owed more than the back of his hand to a newspaper that put him in the professional and financial position to stalk off in a huff.

If he had any manners, Jay would know that a graceful departure pays more dividends over time than acting like a jerk.

But he doesn’t. So he did.


Blogger Kevin Pierce said...


NEWSWIRE--Sports columnist Jay Mariotti has resigned from the Chicago Sun-Times, saying that there is no future for sportswriting in newspapers.

The sportswriter's bromide on corporate accounts is:
"The fat lady's sung," or "The way the ball bounces."
He once had assignments to tryouts and playoffs;
Now he's resigned to skip buyouts and layoffs.
Light verse, ripped from the headlines

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was he really that good? A prospective employer has got to look at this and ponder if Mariotti is really worth the heartache and headache of dealing with him. We've seen this before with columnists who forget their musings are only of interest to others because they are printed in the paper. Let him try a blog and see if he can make it work economically.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he's right about newspaper sportswriting, but he also seems like an obnoxious creep.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised he acted like a jerk. He IS a jerk.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, that "newspapers are dead" stuff he's throwing around is his own personal spin. He's quit dozens of times before and this time the newspaper not only said, "OK" but added "Don't let the door kick you in the butt on your way out."

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think Mariotti think's hes a big enough brand to go it on his own.

There are sportswriters with multiple gigs like Mariotti that introduce themselves by their side gig anymore. (i.e. I'm on "around the horn", not I write for the Sun Times) Fame hounds usually know the best sources of fame.

6:32 AM  

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