Update by Joe (1:05 p.m. EST): I just talked to someone familiar with Davidoff’s situation (hah! I actually got to type that for once). He is not losing his job. Repeat: Not losing his job. Apparently, his title changed recently, which may have led to the speculation. It’s good to know that Davidoff’s job is safe, though. I was thinking about it this morning, and after considering everyone in the NYC sports media, I’m going to say he’s the best columnist out there. I’m glad he’ll continue to have an outlet for his writing.
As free agent rumors swirled on Monday, two pillars of the traditional media took a big hit.
The Tribune Company, published of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune as well as the owners of the Chicago Cubs, filed for bankruptcy protection while The New York Times Co. took out a $225 million home equity loan against its new building. Without that loan, The Times Co., publishers of The New York Times and part-owners of the Red Sox, would be facing a major cash-flow problem.
According to the major players, the Cubs and Red Sox are shielded from the economic downturn, and these moves shouldn’t impact the impending sale of the Cubs to someone who isn’t going to be Mark Cuban. But within the media, these developments were another sign of both economic unrest and deep-rooted problems with the business.
On a more local level, Newsday, a former Tribune holding sold to Cablevision in May, is facing its share of problems too, and this one will have an impact on how we receive some information. According to The Post, the Long Island-based daily will be slashing 100 jobs soon, and among those jobs lost may be Ken Davidoff’s.
With papers looking to save costs, columnists — even the good ones — that focus on national issues and not local teams often get the axe. The Post reports that Davidoff may be offered a lower-paid editorial position with the paper.
Davidoff has long been a well-respected reporter on the New York scene. He writes well; he’s engaging; and he does a great job with his Baseball Insider blog. But that’s why the media world works these days. The best reporters and columnists are the ones that are the highest paid, and they are often the first ones to go. Hopefully, Davidoff will stick around the city. His voice would be missed.