The mass exodus from newspapers to the internet continues. The Big Lead has learned that two more sports writers have lost interest in being ink-stained wretches and bolted for the riches of the web: Jason King, an APSE-winning journalist from the KC Star, and Johnny Ludden from the San Antonio Express-News have both been hired by Yahoo Sports. King will cover colleges; Ludden the NBA. The third hire is not official yet, but could be by the end of today: Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger is set to join the website as a columnist.
We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, but the net’s going to be exciting and competitive come college hoops season. Andy Katz (ESPN) vs. Jeff Goodman (Fox) vs. Gary Parrish (Sportsline) vs. Luke Winn (Sports Illustarted) vs. King. Should be fun.
In addition to the moves at Yahoo, a source points out that since the New York Times kicked sports editor Neil Amdur upstairs a few years ago, the department has been decimated by departures. (On this site, you will see that many of the losses have been minorities.) Among the casualties: Buster Olney (ESPN), Mike Wise (Washington Post), Lee Jenkins (Sports Illustrated) Damon Hack (Sports Illustrated), Chris Broussard (ESPN), Clifton Brown (The Sporting News), Liz Robbins (supposedly) and Ira Berkow. Ouch. You know the drill, newspaper people: polish up the resume this weekend.
[Update: In a surprise move - at least we're surprised - Politi decided to pass on Yahoo Sports and remain at the Star-Ledger. We hope to get him to talk to us about his decision Monday. Why are we surprised? Because based on comScore numbers, Yahoo Sports is the second most popular sports website on the net (if you don't count roll ups, it is more heavily-trafficked than ESPN.com). The Star-Ledger, while a fine paper, is a distant fourth in the crowded New York City marketplace.]