To my friends over at the Chron -- and yes, I do have some friends there -- I want to apologize. I guess it's partly my fault that you guys are being laid off like crazy over there today (and tomorrow -- seriously, what kind of sadistic bastards makes laying off employees a two day process?) I stopped buying the hard copy edition about five years ago as the price went up and the original content started to vanish and be replaced by wire copy.
But I guess I should have realized what might happen if I didn't buy. That content would disappear. That on-site reporting would be replaced by more wire copy. That the size of the paper would continue to shrink, and since the paper was shrinking, but the cost kept going up, more people would refuse to buy, which meant that it would shrink some more. It's a vicious circle. And I apologize for helping to bring this about.
Still, if there's one reason more than any other that I stopped by the Chron, it's that the Chron failed to realize what was really important. After all, in a city with major employers and industries consisting of Continental Airlines, NASA, and the oil business, one would think that the Chron would make sure to keep reporters on those beats, no matter what.
One would think wrong as those beat writers were amongst those laid off today.
And would think that trying to appeal to local interests -- where wire copy generally isn't as readily available -- would be of prime interest to the Chron in its attempts to stay relevant. But once again, especially with sports, one would think wrong.
The Chron decided to lay off Michael Murphy, the only guy at the Chron to cover University of Houston sports. It decided to lay of MK Bower, the only guy at the Chron to cover Rice University sports. And I've also heard through sources that Terrence Harris, the man who covers TSU sports, was also let go. That leaves no sports reporters at the Chron to cover the local universities while Texas A&M and Texas -- schools that aren't located in Houston, still retain dedicated beat writers.
It's just stupidity. It's like, in some ways, the Chron is doing everything it can to totally alienate its readership so that it can entirely close up shop.
Anyway, RIP Houston Chronicle.
And since I feel this is all party my fault, here's Nirvana performing "All Apologies."