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…..
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.
Cleaning out my work computer. Loved this photo and the people in it. (And, by the way, I'm not really in it). pic.twitter.com/u2CSFdiYbJ
— Jefe Mills (@Jefe_Mills) September 17, 2020
++++++++++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.