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IKnowPhysics

Downfall of The Buffalo News

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The Buffalo News, after sending out a letter to the editorial staff describing dire financial issues, has bought out three long-time sports writers within the past week.

 

 

John Vogl took a voluntary buyout on May 22nd:

 

After 16 seasons covering the Sabres, my last day at The News is May 31. As I've said often, I truly appreciate you reading and following along. It's been fun. I still have more stories coming, so don't go anywhere.

 

Bucky Gleason asked for and received a buyout on May 25th:

 

I requested, received and accepted a buyout from TBN. I want to thank sports editors Howard Smith, Steve Jones, Lisa Wilson and Keith McShea for hiring me, believing in me and/or supporting me for the past 20 years. I also want to thank the readers for their passion.

 

Jerry Sullivan accepted a buyout today:

 

I've accepted a buyout today after the News took away my column. They felt my voice was becoming bad for business. It's been a privilege to cover Buffalo sports for 29 years. I wrote for the readers, who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective, even when it stung.

Edited by IKnowPhysics

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It's not a good time to be in newspapers.  Our local Ft Worth Star-Telegram recently canned a bunch of their editorial staff and some of their writers.  They're owned by a conglomerate now who simply views the paper as a subsidiary of the Midwest Division and nothing more.

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Moving closer and closer to being taken over by some right wing propaganda factory like Art Voice was. 

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My prediction is, in a few years we will be complaining way more about the coverage of Buffalo sports than we ever did about Bucky, Hammy, and Sully.

 

I think we’ll look back at those days and wish we could have that back. We aren’t going to get the coverage we’ve had out of the likes of The Athletic. And the coverage is likely going to fluctuate based on our teams national relevance.

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I regret the death spiral of major local newspapers - I won't dance on anyone's grave.

 

Howevah:

 

Jerry Sullivan‏ @ByJerrySullivan27m27 minutes ago

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I've accepted a buyout today after the News took away my column. They felt my voice was becoming bad for business. It's been a privilege to cover Buffalo sports for 29 years. I wrote for the readers, who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective, even when it stung.

 

It's probably good that he heard that.

 

His angle and voice were often bad for my business/readership -- that's for sure.

 

Moving closer and closer to being taken over by some right wing propaganda factory like Art Voice was. 

 

That seems extreme.

 

OTOH, TBN's editorial board has, of late, been little more than a mouthpiece for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. I.e., the moneyed business class.

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My prediction is, in a few years we will be complaining way more about the coverage of Buffalo sports than we ever did about Bucky, Hammy, and Sully.

 

I think we’ll look back at those days and wish we could have that back. We aren’t going to get the coverage we’ve had out of the likes of The Athletic. And the coverage is likely going to fluctuate based on our teams national relevance.

I haven't relied on the News for my Sabres coverage for several years now. And as a subscriber to The Athletic, I find their content for teams quite superior to what we've gotten from the News.

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My prediction is, in a few years we will be complaining way more about the coverage of Buffalo sports than we ever did about Bucky, Hammy, and Sully.

 

I think we’ll look back at those days and wish we could have that back. We aren’t going to get the coverage we’ve had out of the likes of The Athletic. And the coverage is likely going to fluctuate based on our teams national relevance.

 

It's overstating matters for me to say that no local coverage would represent an improvement over the likes of them. But only barely.

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It's probably good that he heard that.

 

His angle and voice were often bad for my business/readership -- that's for sure.

 

 

One of those "goodbye" tweets is definitely not like the others.  I feel like it says a lot about that specific person.

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One of those "goodbye" tweets is definitely not like the others.  I feel like it says a lot about that specific person.

 

Each of those tweets was one tweet of several by each person on the subject.  Context may dull or sharpen this opinion.

 

Well, so far, Sullivan's only posted the one tweet, but it's early.

Edited by IKnowPhysics

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Vogl is not like the other two. The news certainly wanted to keep him. He was not targeted for these buyouts, but saw the opportunity to be paid to leave. That is an opportunity that is not presented to a lot of people.

 

The other two built up a level of animosity in their readership that was never going to be overcome.

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My prediction is, in a few years we will be complaining way more about the coverage of Buffalo sports than we ever did about Bucky, Hammy, and Sully.

I think we’ll look back at those days and wish we could have that back. We aren’t going to get the coverage we’ve had out of the likes of The Athletic. And the coverage is likely going to fluctuate based on our teams national relevance.

Perhaps. Used to buy the Sunday edition to have it mailed so it would get there by Thursday simply to read Jim Kelley's column. Won't even mention the mustaschio'd ones name, even now that he's been shown the exit. Hope he finds a job to continue to be able to feed his family, but don't see him being removed from TBN to be a loss.

 

Seperately, but in a similar vein, no longer subscribe to the D&C anymore because the Messenger does a better job of covering my town & can get the business news from the RBJ.

 

The coverage of tomorrow will almost definitely be lower quality than today overall as there will be fewer reporters actually reporting. It'll be because guys like Vogl and Kelley are gone (long gone in Jim's case) not because the guy who predicted the Bills would stink in '90 are gone.

 

Haven't read Gleason in a long time, but didn't actively avoid his writing. Good luck to him in future endeavors as well.

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Perhaps. Used to buy the Sunday edition to have it mailed so it would get there by Thursday simply to read Jim Kelley's column. Won't even mention the mustaschio'd ones name, even now that he's been shown the exit. Hope he finds a job to continue to be able to feed his family, but don't see him being removed from TBN to be a loss.

 

Seperately, but in a similar vein, no longer subscribe to the D&C anymore because the Messenger does a better job of covering my town & can get the business news from the RBJ.

 

The coverage of tomorrow will almost definitely be lower quality than today overall as there will be fewer reporters actually reporting. It'll be because guys like Vogl and Kelley are gone (long gone in Jim's case) not because the guy who predicted the Bills would stink in '90 are gone.

 

Haven't read Gleason in a long time, but didn't actively avoid his writing. Good luck to him in future endeavors as well.

 

I internally set an over/under about how many posts would go by before someone to mentioned the Great Jim Kelley.  I set it at only one page, and I'm glad the under came in.  Although I would have realllllly enjoyed a few more years of his thoughts and hard work, especially through the tank, I'm glad he doesn't have to watch this.

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If there is a need for the information there will be a source to obtain it from.

 

It may take time to balance out, but it will happen.  Newspapers should be dead. Digital news can be created by many people and over time the various digital news sources will see themselves combine and create larger entities.  This is how things work.

 

The real question will be how the Sabres grant access to the team in the wake of these kinds of events. 

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Vogl is not like the other two. The news certainly wanted to keep him. He was not targeted for these buyouts, but saw the opportunity to be paid to leave. That is an opportunity that is not presented to a lot of people.

 

The other two built up a level of animosity in their readership that was never going to be overcome.

 

Much agreed.  I hope that the News is able to replace them with some fresh voices.

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Much agreed. I hope that the News is able to replace them with some fresh voices.

Sullivan has been covering buffalo sports for 28 years. I think Bucky has been covering them for 20 years. I guess the question is, given the nature of the business, does their body of work support such longevity in one place? Even if they are not bad writers, are they hall of fame type writers that should sit atop the throne of buffalo sports opinion?

 

At some point, I think, an editor needs to decide if you are a treasure to be kept or a voice that needs to be freshened. I don’t think the Buffalo sports readership regards either of these two writers as local treasures.

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Much agreed.  I hope that the News is able to replace them with some fresh voices.

 

Also, what does Vogl mean here?

 

John VoglVerified account @BuffNewsVogl
FollowingFollowing @BuffNewsVogl
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Hey there. So as you may have heard, the newspaper-industry turbulence has hit Buffalo. The News had targeted buyouts. I was not one of them.

Edited by Eleven

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TBN offered targeted buyouts (severance packages) to some staff they desired to part with, likely based on TBN's perceived value of their work (read: cost and/or quality and/or readership).  According to Vogl, TBN also sought employees to volunteer to take a buyout.  Vogl wasn't asked to take a buyout, instead, he volunteered.

 

Gleason and Vogl volunteered for buyouts.  Judging from the tone (and the lateness), Sullivan didn't volunteer.

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My prediction is, in a few years we will be complaining way more about the coverage of Buffalo sports than we ever did about Bucky, Hammy, and Sully.

 

I think we’ll look back at those days and wish we could have that back. We aren’t going to get the coverage we’ve had out of the likes of The Athletic. And the coverage is likely going to fluctuate based on our teams national relevance.

 

I miss Larry Felser.

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Enjoyed and respected Vogl’s professional work as a reporter.

The role he provided - and Hamilton, Hoppe and Wawrow provide, with varying degrees of effectiveness - enhances my understanding of the Sabres. Hope news organizations continue to be able to employ people in these roles.

 

The other two brought me neither insight, nor enjoyment as columnists.

Sabrespace is far better source of each, to the point where I visit it every day, and I have read Sullivan and Gleason maybe a half dozen times in the past three or four years.

 

There is more information available today about the Sabres than there has been than at any other point in my lifetime. The above buyouts are not going to significantly affect that.

Edited by dudacek

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TBN offered targeted buyouts (severance packages) to some staff they desired to part with, likely based on TBN's perceived value of their work (read: cost and/or quality and/or readership). According to Vogl, TBN also sought employees to volunteer to take a buyout. Vogl wasn't asked to take a buyout, instead, he volunteered.

 

Gleason and Vogl volunteered for buyouts. Judging from the tone (and the lateness), Sullivan didn't volunteer.

Gleason’s tweet doesn’t pass the smell test. He is a local boy writing for his local paper for the last 20 years. If he wanted to move up in the journalism world he would have bolted long ago.

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Much agreed.  I hope that the News is able to replace them with some fresh voices.

 

I sense that the local paper will go the way that the local broadcast affiliates have gone in hiring their talent: Hire young people, pay them jack squat, and rotate them through on a regular basis.

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TBN offered targeted buyouts (severance packages) to some staff they desired to part with, likely based on TBN's perceived value of their work (read: cost and/or quality and/or readership).  According to Vogl, TBN also sought employees to volunteer to take a buyout.  Vogl wasn't asked to take a buyout, instead, he volunteered.

 

Gleason and Vogl volunteered for buyouts.  Judging from the tone (and the lateness), Sullivan didn't volunteer.

 

Got it; thanks.

 

I sense that the local paper will go the way that the local broadcast affiliates have gone in hiring their talent: Hire young people, pay them jack squat, and rotate them through on a regular basis.

 

I don't see that on local broadcast at all.  Certainly not radio, and didn't Channel 2 even promote Begnini to the news desk for a while?  (While keeping Demler, O'Connell, etc. on the books...)

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I sense that the local paper will go the way that the local broadcast affiliates have gone in hiring their talent: Hire young people, pay them jack squat, and rotate them through on a regular basis.

The news business today is about eyeballs.

Carefully crafted articles are a luxury that generally require more investment for less return.

There will always be a demand for good journalism, just like there will also be a demand for luxury SUVs.

But there will be helluvalot more Corollas.

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I sense that the local paper will go the way that the local broadcast affiliates have gone in hiring their talent: Hire young people, pay them jack squat, and rotate them through on a regular basis.

 

I'd imagine you get a near complete axing of the opinion department.  In a world where money is tight, it can't be all that worthwhile to pay people to tell us what they think.  That role is only going to exist with the biggest "news" providers out there.

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Further to the above, in Canada, they often don’t hire anyone at all.

Newsroom staffs just get smaller and smaller.

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