Chicago columnist Jay Mariotti abruptly resigned his position with the Chicago Sun-Times this week, to “pursue other opportunities.” At the same time, he proclaimed newspapers a dying industry and stated that sportswriting has become “entirely a Web site business.” (Which he might be correct about.)
This morning, Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal ended his column on Mariotti with the following chilling passage:
One rumor on which Mariotti would not comment had him bound for Boston and an array of multimedia opportunities. How he would find flaws in a city with defending champs in basketball and baseball is anyone’s guess.
“An array of multimedia opportunities” – where would he get those? WEEI.com? (BSMW colleague David Scott has already gotten a denial from an Entercom source) Boston.com? They just hired Tony Massarotti to be “the voice of Boston sports on Boston.com.” The Boston Herald to replace Massarotti? That’s a newspaper…a dying industry. A revamped ESPN Boston? Doubtful.
An emailer to BSMW yesterday also stated that Mariotti was dropping hints about Boston his radio show yesterday. I did not hear the clips, so I cannot verify them, but it seems worth mentioning, especially given the content of the Rosenthal column today.
I really hope this does not happen. Marriotti symbolizes pretty much everything that is wrong with the sports media business right now. He’s all about faux controversy, storylines and manufactured outrage. We’ve got enough of that right now in this town.
Update (1:45pm): Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald has Mariotti saying that he hasn’t talked to anyone about coming to Boston, but that he “would fit right in” here.