Winston-Salem Rumors, November 17, 2008 Sports Edition

Over the past few weeks I've heard two rumors that are unverified but came from some pretty good sources so I'm wondering if they're true.

  1. Construction is allegedly coming to a halt on the new ballpark downtown.  I don't get down there enough to see it on a day-to-day basis, but the last few times I've been downtown during the day I haven't seen any construction activity.  Anyone know if the funding is okay and if construction is ongoing?  Given the market meltdown I'm worried about everybody's funding, not just the ballpark!
  2. Mike Mulhern is allegedly being let go by the Winston-Salem Journal now that the NASCAR season is over. Although any cuts by the paper come as no surprise, I'm wondering why they'd cut the one guy covering a professional sport that actually makes sense here in Winston-Salem?  Obviously there's no need for pro basketball or football coverage here, but NASCAR's an institution and Mulhern is one of the old hands covering it.  Maybe the folks at the paper figure Mulhern will have as easy a time finding a job as anyone given his knowledge of, and connections to, the racing industry.  Maybe, but I think they miss one of their best multimedia opportunities by letting him go.  I suspect they could have made a pretty penny finding ways to get his expertise syndicated to other outlets as those folks cut back their non-core assets.  How many markets don't have NASCAR as a core asset but have plenty of NASCAR fans?  I'd say much of the south, southwest and western states.

    Update: Received an email from Mike Mulhern this evening and he indeed was let go. He mentions it on his last video for JournalNow.  He also mentions that he'll be back on another channel, most likely  Go get 'em Mike.

Feel free to leave comments regarding either rumor. Like I said these aren't confirmed, just things I've heard through the grapevine, which is why I carefully inserted the word "allegedly" in the opening sentence of both rumors.

5 thoughts on “Winston-Salem Rumors, November 17, 2008 Sports Edition

  1. Jon Lowder

    I hope the rumor is wrong too. I’m not a big fan of publicly financed ballparks, but now that we have it started let’s hope it gets finished and becomes the anchor for a downtown revival like Camden Yards did for the Baltimore Harbor.

  2. yarddawg

    Sounds about right. Lose a ballpark and gain a Trader Joe’s. Who knows in these crazy times and I wouldn’t put anything past the yahoos running W-S or Forsyth County.

  3. Yarddawg

    Jon. I forgot to comment about Mr. Mulhern. I agree with your assessment. If there is anyone that adds value to the WSJ it is coverage of NASCAR in this area. It makes sense. That is why I was interested in comments made by Rupert Murdoch recently on the current state of newspapers which may, in part, explain why, if true, what is going on.
    I found this on Drudge:
    With newspapers cutting back and predictions of even worse times ahead, Rupert Murdoch said the profession may still have a bright future if it can shake free of reporters and editors who he said have forfeited the trust and loyalty of their readers.
    “My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it’s not newspapers that might become obsolete. It’s some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper’s most precious asset: the bond with its readers,” said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp. He made his remarks as part of a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation.

  4. Brian Leon

    Bit of a bummer with Mulhern. I do not follow Nascar but I thought it was good that a local paper had a dedicated reporter on the sport to give it some distinct perspective that the national wire reporters do not give. Now it’s just Dan Collins and Lenox Rawlings left as local sport feature reporters. These days, if a local paper wants to survive it must have something distinctive than what can be found on the Internet or in national papers that usually means a focus on local news and sports. If I want to read about a NFL game, I can read it on the Internet but if I want commentary on local high school football who can else can I turn to for coverage?


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