Friday, August 07, 2009

It's hard to know what is more disturbing: That The Dayton Daily News is no longer going to send reporters to Reds games or that Hal McCoy won't be writing the stories anymore.

I think it's the latter, but I'm not sure.

Hal McCoy is in the Hall of Fame. Despite being legally blind, he has continued to work and produce stories of a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2000.

It's tempting to go off on the DDN or the industry, but McCoy didn't, and I won't.

I work in the newspaper industry, and no one has to tell me these are tough times. I have friends, former co-workers and classmates who have lost their jobs at newspapers. Everyone I know in the industry has a few stories of someone who worked like crazy only to get bounced.

So many want to blame the people doing the firing. Let me tell you, no one feels worse than they do. You think the bosses at the DDN wanted to fire a legend? You think they don't know they'll get hundreds of emails today telling them they're heartless and they'll lose customers?

The truth is, what is happening is not the fault of a greedy publisher or a vengeful boss. If it was, McCoy's firing would be an isolated incident, and it isn't.

I'll miss Hal's writing next year. But even more so, I miss the days of my aunt sending me DDN columns and Reds stories. I miss the days of knowing guys like McCoy would always be able to share their insight, and the days of feeling people like him would last forever.

It was never the truth. But it sure felt good.

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