This is a woeful day for the city of Houston. The hometown paper is rumored to be cutting the beat writers for the hometown Universities. Michael Murphy, MK Bower and Terrance Harris who write about UH, Rice and TSU sports respectively are the prospective victims of budget cuts over at the Houston Chronicle.
The Chronicle has officially announced that it will be cutting 12% of their jobs. They just haven’t specified which ones yet. But, with the message boards all atwitter about Murph and others being cut we had to bring it to the tens of people that read Fourth and Fifty. The Houston Chronicle’s decades long underexposure of local college teams will only worsen with this rumored cut.
The crunch has been coming for a long time. Newspapers all over the country have been cutting jobs and going to exclusively online publications. It’s always harder to accept the fact that it’s happening to your city paper. But, it’s hardest to accept the fact that they’re cutting the writers who cover the team(s) that you love.
UH, Rice and TSU have never gotten the exposure that they deserve in their home city. Not by fault of any of the writers implicated in these budget cuts. Speaking as someone who has always followed the University of Houston sports teams, Murph has been at every game possible, posting live from those games and offering shaky handy-cam videos of coach and player interviews afterward. Houston has always been more focused on the Big 12, unfortunately.
If the rumors are true, Michael Murphy, MK Bower and Terrance Harris, our condolences. And, to the fans of the teams that they cover we wish you the same.
This is just a damned shame.
- Septimus Rex
Update: Our sources tell us it seems that the rumors are true and that the Chronicle is cutting ALL of the college beat writers. So, expand the list above to include Mike Finger for UT and Brent Zwernerman for A&M? (see below) What exactly is the Chronicle thinking??
Update #2: A more extensive list of names that have been cut can be found here including sports and non-sport related employees. (Thanks, Big Hitter)
Update #3: Mike Finger and Brent Zwernerman haven’t shown up on any lists and a commenter (who probably knows more than us, honestly) has said they’re not getting cut. But, our source told us that they’re cutting the college beats from the paper, so take that as you will.
Update #4: We’re finally getting to the bottom of this… If you read the comments below (which like I said before, the commenters know more than us) you’ll see frank said “The UT and A&M beat writers work for the Express-News. The Chron piggy backs.” and we believe him. Mike and Brent haven’t been cut from the Chronicle because they work for Express-News. Thank you. So, does this mean the Chronicle will be covering UT and A&M exclusively? If that’s the case, the sarcastic question would be, “so what exactly will be different?”
[Story from Washington Times]
[Rumors from fans that care]
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