Newspaper Carnage Continues with Ed Hardin and Jeff Mills receiving tough pills to swallow:Hardin and Mills gone from News and Record, and now who is left in the Sports Department at N&R???(Former News and Record editor John Robinson reacts)

Posted by Andy Durham on September 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm under Amateur, College, High School, Photos, Professional | 38 Comments to Read

Not really sure how to process all of this…Ed Hardin, last year’s North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year gone from the News and Record….Jeff Mills, one of the top sportswriters in the state, with his college and community coverage, Jeff is also gone

That leaves us with the question…Who is left in the sports department, at the News and Record??? Looks like Joe Sirera, might be the last man left on deck….The News and Record has now gutted their sports department, and Joe is going to have to cover a lot of territory, as the new days and the news days unfold at the N&R…

Best of luck to Ed Hardin and Jeff Mills, as they head on down the road….

I would like to see the Greensboro Grasshoppers hire Jeff Mills as their Director of Media…If the Hoppers could afford this type of move, Jeff Mills would be worth every penny

Would expect Ed Hardin to be working on a book, or a set of books….Again, best of luck to both Ed and Jeff….

This is surely a Crazy Day in Sports Media…We saw Conor O’Neill gone at the Lee Enterprises-owned Winston-Salem Journal, and then the hammer came down, all the way around…..

R.L. Bynum
@RL_Bynum

Sports journalists at the Winston-Salem Journal and News & Record confirmed to have been laid off today by Lee Enterprises: Ed Hardin, Conor O’Neill, Jeff Mills and Patrick Ferlise. This combines 2020 with the terrible state of the newspaper industry to produce nonsensical moves.

John Newsom from the News and Record college/university/higher education section….
Today’s legacy news carnage:

The N&R and WS Journal lost a third of their newsroom staff today bc of cuts mandated by parent co Lee Enterprises.

I’m still here and still covering higher ed. But I’m gutted for my former colleagues. And it’s a huge loss for both communities.

++++++++++Former Greensboro News and Record editor John Robinson reacts on his blog…++++++++++

Democracy dies in darkness
Posted on September 17, 2020

I’ve cancelled my subscription to the News & Record, my employer for 27 years and the paper I was editor of for 13.

If this were Twitter, I’d end the above sentence with “That’s the tweet. 27 years.”

I didn’t cancel because the paper laid off several of my friends yesterday. I cancelled a few months ago, when there was so little in it that I could no longer justify the rising cost.

Yesterday, the paper sent more than 100 years of memory out the door. It now has no graphic artist. No sports columnist. The owners even laid off the editor. (I assume someone will get the title, although probably not in Greensboro. Worth noting that the owners haven’t had the decency to tell the community that it sent the editor and some of the most recognizable names out the door.)

As I understand it, there are now six news reporters to cover the third largest city in North Carolina. One sports reporter.

This is difficult for me to write about; I know the role I played in the decline of the News & Record. I’m not going to revisit that. Jeri Rowe writes about part of that eloquently here. (Although I hate that that photo of me explaining the first layoff in 2007 is becoming my legacy.)

Greensboro and Guilford County deserve better, but it won’t get it. Warren Buffett’s purchase of the paper didn’t save it. It’s not clear that Lee Enterprises has any intention of doing anything more than taking whatever remaining money it can out of Greensboro.

The editor, Cindy Loman, wrote on Facebook: “The revenue impact of COVID really is beyond comprehension. I think N&R revenue dropped by 90 percent for most of the months of the pandemic, and that’s not counting “bad debt” from customers who just can’t pay their bills.”

I used to hear that laying off newspaper journalists was no more important than laying off furniture workers, which happened a few decades ago in Guilford County. I’d often smugly reply that manufacturing a sofa isn’t protected by the Constitution. (Yes, I can be an asshole, I’m sorry to admit.)

I’m aware that by canceling my subscription I have contributed to the paper’s demise. And it’s funny, because if the ownership had presented a vision for the future of its journalism — how it was investing in the community,, what it was doing to understand the needs of its readers, how it was trying to meet me where I am — I’d pay top dollar to help sustain it.

But it hasn’t. And by this move yesterday, it is clear it won’t. I hate it for my friends still there.

Soon, there won’t be a daily paper in the third largest city in North Carolina. It’s time to imagine whether that matters.


  • Andy Durham said,

    Jefe Mills
    @Jefe_Mills

    Been thinking a lot today of things I’ve seen/covered in last 21 years in Greensboro. Lots and lots of cool stories. Nothing is more remarkable than the turnarounds of @NCATFootball and @UNCGBasketball. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.

    Donovan Dooley
    @DonovanDooley

    Replying to @JohnNewsomNR and @JeffMillsNR
    Much respect to you @JeffMillsNR Clapping hands sign spent a lot of time around you as we both covered some of #NCAT’s biggest sports moments.

    Learned a lot from you and your work. Another door will open! God is already working!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Brendan Marks
    @BrendanRMarks

    Hate this. Hate it for Ed, @ConorONeillWSJ @JeffMillsNR and all the readers who are now much worse off. Hate it for the athletes whose stories won’t be told as well. Hate it for the state, who is losing tremendous talent and one of the all-time greats.

    Just hate it altogether.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Sammy Batten
    @FO_SammyBatten

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around how one of the best young journalists in our state, @ConorONeillWSJ
    and a legend like @Ed_Hardin
    could be let go by a media outlet. Sad days. Raising a Cheap Sunglass to you both – the official drink of the ACC Football Tour.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Steve Kirschner
    @UNCKirschner

    Sad day in sports media, particularly here in North Carolina as the Greensboro and Winston-Salem papers let go four sportswriters. Worked closely with three of them as they covered UNC through the years and my heart goes out to them in these tremendously scary times.

    Steve Kirschner
    @UNCKirschner
    Hope Ed, Conor, Jeff & Patrick land with another platform to do what they love to do and continue to bring stories to readers across the state and elsewhere. Coverage helps all of us, helps tell our students’ and teams’ stories. Bad day for everyone in our world. My best to them.

  • Andy Durham said,

    CoachWesMiller
    @CoachWesMiller

    Cant believe
    @Ed_Hardin and @JefeMills have been laid off by the
    @NewsandRecord

    Journalists that have meant so much to our community here in Greensboro. Terrible news. Man facepalming. Wishing them both the best in whatever is next.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Tim George
    @TBGboro

    Hate to see @JeffMillsNR and @Ed_Hardin as well as other local writers laid off today. Jeff provided excellent coverage of UNCG Athletics and Ed has consistently been one of the best columnists around. Both are true pros.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Cris Belvin
    @SID_Belvin

    My time in Greensboro was short but I had the pleasure of working with some real media pros in my year in the Triad. Two of them – @JeffMillsNR and @Ed_Hardin
    – were let go today by the News & Record. Godspeed gentlemen. I’m confident you’ll be back at it before too long.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Carl Hairston
    @GeeCeeJR

    Hate to see so many local newspaper layoffs today. Special thoughts go out to @JeffMillsNR & @Ed_Hardin. Always appreciated their coverage of @NCATAGGIES. Great writers who would be a benefit to any publication.

  • Andy Durham said,

    J.P. Mundy
    @JP_Mundy

    A friendly reminder: Your beat writer should not be a conduit for the message/narrative the team prefers. Conor and everyone else who was laid off today do an excellent job of what Bart describes here. They are not fans. They are not boosters. They report.
    Quote Tweet

    FanaticDeac
    @FanaticDeac

    Replying to @ADavidHaleJoint and @CamLemons_
    Yes. Conor did a great job listening to what Wake told him and investigating it against what he saw. Then he wrote about it eloquently. Thats what we need as fans and that’s what the industry needs to be about.

  • Steve Smith said,

    This is absolute MIND BOGGLING…what IDIOT at Lee Ents made this bone headed decision. To lose both Ed Hardin and Jeff Mills is a complete slap in the face to us long time subscribers to the N&R…After 30+ years of subscribing, I’m FINISHED…complete disgust to lose 2 of the best writers in the State!!!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Aaron Beard
    @aaronbeardap

    Between this and @ConorONeillWSJ and @JeffMillsNR
    along with many others, the NC sports journalism landscape took a huge hit today by losing hard-working, talented pros who also happen to be quality people.

    Ed Hardin
    @Ed_Hardin

  • Andy Durham said,

    Chris Lea – WRAL-TV
    @ChrisLeaTV

    My professional career started in print at the Greensboro News & Record and I learned so much early on from @JeffMillsNR. If you’re looking for an amazing journalist, this is your guy. Keep the faith, Jeff & thank you for all you’ve done for me!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Bret Strelow
    @bretstrelow

    Awful.
    @ConorONeillWSJ is a great dude, & it’s been awesome to see his professional growth.

    @Ed_Hardin is one of a kind, especially for understanding how sports fits into the fabric of our state.

    How much do I respect Ed’s life wisdom? He got a shoutout in my wedding vows.

    Andrew Carter
    @_andrewcarter

    Gut punch of a day for sports journalism in N.C. Heartbroken most of all for those affected. Heartbroken for the industry. Heartbroken for communities and readers who are worse off than they were yesterday. Heartbroken that legit reporting struggles while so much BS thrives.

  • Andy Durham said,

    I could keep on posting these comments all day long…

    Hottest topic of the day on Twitter, I can’t even imagine what all they might be saying on Facebook…

    These sportswriters were the voices, yes written voices of our communities….

  • Andy Durham said,

    Ed Southern
    @EdSouthern

    I’m deeply angry that I won’t be able to read @Ed_Hardin & @ConorONeillWSJ in my local daily paper anymore. Y’all do great work, and deserved better.

    Ed Southern
    @EdSouthern

    The layoffs at the Journal & the N&R are further proof that newspapers aren’t dying; they’re being murdered by quarterly earnings reports. We as readers lost daily access to some fantastic writers today.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Ethan Joyce
    @EthanJoyceWSJ

    Ed Hardin treated me like an equal from the moment I got hired here, even when I was still a little in awe of him.

    Always had time for me, and that was invaluable. Always in the mood for a laugh too. I’ll never stop appreciating him for that.

    You’re the man, Ed.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Evan Lepler
    @EvanLepler

    This is an absolute disgrace.

    Conor O’Neill had giant shoes to fill in replacing Dan Collins and somehow figured out how to fill them, covering Wake like he’d been the one doing it for decades.

    Such disappointing news.

    Conor, I look forward to reading your work wherever you land.

  • Andy Durham said,

    J.B. Ricks Sr.
    @JB_Ricks

    Whenever I would see this #Legend at a sporting event in North Carolina, I knew it was a big deal. Wishing you nothing but the best for your next endeavor Ed. God Bless.
    Quote Tweet

    Ed Hardin
    @Ed_Hardin
    30

  • Andy Durham said,

    Jason Wolf
    @JasonWolf

    Bloodletting in NC by same company that now owns
    @TheBuffaloNews.

    @JeffMillsNR & @Ed_Hardin are among best journalists & most decent people I’ve ever worked with. They & the community deserve better.

    @NewsandRecord/@JournalNow combined sports dept down to 1 editor, 3 reporters!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Dr. Sarah E. Colonna
    @secolonna

    Our community is poorer with the layoffs of @JeffMills and @Ed_Hardin their coverage of sports, particularly local sports, was top tier.

  • Andy Durham said,

    NC A&T Men’s Basketball
    @ncatmbb

    ur thoughts are with @Ed_Hardin, @Jefe_Mills
    & the many other journalists across NC in this tough time. Your countless hours put in to cover @NCATAGGIES
    for years has been greatly appreciated and the work has been second to none! ?

  • Andy Durham said,

    Dave Nathan
    @Davenathanonair

    3/25/20: I interviewed NC’s 3 @NSMASportsMedia
    award winners. They were voted the best in TV, radio, and print journalism. Today
    @DavidGlennShow

    @ed_hardin

    @JohnForslund
    are no longer w/ the organizations that employed them at the start of ‘20. #Unbelievable…

    2020 Top Broadcasters in North Carolina were David Glenn and John Forslund…Top Sportswriter was Ed Hardin, from the News and Record…

    As of today/9/16/2020, all three are no longer with the organizations that they were working for, when they won these awards…

    The thoughts on Ed Hardin, John Forslund and David Glenn, from Dave Nathan…

  • Andy Durham said,

    Taft Wireback, from the News and Record, also let go today…Did several reports on the Stan Kowalewski story back in the day….

    Taft Wireback was a veteran N&R reporter…

  • Andy Durham said,

    John Newsom
    @JohnNewsomNR

    I’ll mostly confirm this.

    By month’s end (one person on the way out is retiring next Fri), the N&R will be down to six news reporters, plus one reporter-slash-editor (who reports 3 days and edits 2), plus a HS sports writer (plus photogs, EAs and editors).
    Quote Tweet

    John Robinson
    @johnrobinson

    I’ve heard – yes, it’s unconfirmed – that with today’s layoffs, my former paper is left with 6 news reporters to cover the third largest city in N.C.

  • Andy Durham said,

    from those that are in the know:

    Three remaining at the N&R/WS Journal….

    Joe Sirera at the News and Record sports…(1)

    John Dell and Ethan Joyce at the WS Journal…(2)

    It will pretty much be a combined staff from here on out, with Eddie Wooten as Sports Editor for both papers, combined…

    Probably John Dell on the Wake Forest beat and Ethan Joyce will stay with Appalachian State and Joe Sirera mainly be with the high schools….

    We have seen much of Joe’s outstanding work from the past, and I think everyone will sure enjoy the work from John Dell….Dell has been on the WSSU Rams and racing and baseball for years, and Ethan Joyce is the young buck of this trio of sportswriters…

  • Andy Durham said,

    from Bill Hass, former News and Record reporter, key sportswriter:

    “I am stunned beyond belief, and outraged and sad, at what has happened.”

    **********Bill Hass worked in the sports department of the N&R for 36 years, retiring in 2006.**********

  • Andy Durham said,

    Have also learned that Taft Wireback was not part of the cuts…Taft Wireback left the N&R by way of retirement….

  • Andy Durham said,

    Also part of the News and Record cuts today, and outside of the sports department were:

    Award-winning artist Tim Rickard, editor Cindy Loman and Carl Wilson, the writer of the popular Short Orders column.

    I have been reading those Carl Wilson articles for many, many years….Carl Wilson also did a very good job writing about wines, and although I did not partake in the wines, the articles were very interesting…

  • Andy Durham said,

    John Robinson
    @johnrobinson

    The @NewsandRecord hasn’t announced its layoffs, but the laid off editor, @CindyLoman_NR said, “I think N&R revenue dropped by 90 percent for most of the months of the pandemic, and that’s not counting “bad debt” from customers who just can’t pay their bills.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Adam Smith
    @adam_smithTN

    Not nearly adequate but all the best to @ConorONeillFA, @Ed_Hardin, @Jefe_Mills

    Jeff, a pro’s pro and the nicest guy. Ed, an institution who doesn’t big-time anyone.

    And Conor, my brother, who I’ve watched grow from college student to top-shelf reporter. Proud of you, always….

  • Andy Durham said,

    Powell Latimer
    @PowellLati

    if I were hiring sportswriters or writers at all, I would absolutely start with @ConorONeillWSJ,
    @Ed_Hardin and @JeffMillsNR

    (I would also pay to read their words somewhere because they are very good)

  • Andy Durham said,

    Kenny Beck
    @kennybeckWXII

    I keep thinking about @Ed_Hardin, @Jefe_Mills
    and @ConorONeillFA. I truly enjoyed their work and dedication. I know it won’t be long before I can enjoy it again through a different outlet.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Dave Polaski
    @DavePolaski

    Really tough day for sports print journalism in the Triad… my heart goes out to @ConorONeillWSJ, @PatrickFerlise, @Ed_Hardin & @JeffMillsNR

  • Andy Durham said,

    Wes Durham
    @WesDurham

    Incredibly disappointing to hear the news today about
    @Ed_Hardin & @ConorONeillFA being let go along with other talented sportswriters in Greensboro & Winston-Salem. Great people and immensely talented writers. #BestWishes #ToughBusinessRightNow

  • Andy Durham said,

    Ed Cone
    @efcone

    Jeff Mills’ byline was a healthy part of my balanced breakfast twitter.com/Jefe_Mills/sta…

  • Andy Durham said,

    Smith Coach Derrick Partee
    @BenLSmithBBall

    Ed Hardin, you’ve done an amazing job here in Greensboro and it has not been overlooked. We appreciate the way you’ve brought sports into our lives. Thank you!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Ethan Joyce
    @EthanJoyceWSJ

    Man, what a day.

    Newspapers are a tough business. Some people survive layoffs and some people don’t and none of it makes sense.

    Hurting for my guys. Going to support them however I can.

    Guess I’ll keep digging, but it just won’t be the same around here.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Joe Sirera
    @JoeSireraNR

    Already missing
    @Jefe_Mills, @PatrickFerlise, @Ed_Hardin and
    @ConorONeillFA. That would be a STRONG lineup for any media outlet. As to the why, as Don Henley once wrote: “The more I know, the less I understand.”