By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Daily News and Inquirer announced recently they’d be combining the newsrooms of the two papers. Today, Daily News sports editor Josh Barnett helped explain how the new newsroom will now work in the sports department.
“Some folks will continue to be Daily News exclusive, some folks will continue to be Inquirer exclusive, and we’ve created essentially what is a joint team of people, and those are mainly the people who cover the beats whose copy will appear in both papers,” Barnett said in an interview with 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning team on Tuesday.
Listen to the interview with Josh Barnett:
“We’ve categorized the thing that we feel the people from both papers are already doing, things like game stories, transactions or injuries, those types of things, and there will be one person who is responsible, at least in print for that. And then that story will appear in both papers. But this will allow the other people to really supplement the main news story,” he said.
Teams like the Eagles, Sixers and Phillies had separate beat writers for each paper, so the editors had to decide who would continue in that role. “We really looked at who might necessarily be better in terms of the news gathering functions of that beat writer role, who would more suited to doing more of the analysis, and really kind of divided it from there. There’s been some negotiation certainly, and some back and forth,” Barnett said of his discussions with the Inquirer.
Barnett thinks the changes will be a good thing. “We feel like it will be better than it’s been [the coverage], because it will allow some of our people to really stretch their legs and do some different things, add more depth and more scope.”
Even though these changes seem obvious to some, Barnett explained why it hasn’t happened sooner. “I think there’s a lot of issues that are related to that. Obviously, we’re a union newspaper. The biggest concern in this is protecting peoples’ jobs. Obviously we’re going through a buyout period right now. We’ve actually been trying to make the case that the amount of people covering sports in this city should actually be more than we have, as opposed to fewer people than we have, but I think that and there’s been talk of course for years of the Daily News demise and I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to obviously protect against,” Barnett said.
The buyout Barnett spoke of has been in the news lately. Former PA Governer Ed Rendell said he’s been approached about putting together a group to buy the papers. He spoke to WPHT’s Buzz Bissinger on Monday about the possibility (see related story).