The Daily News is reportedly laying off sports editor Eric Barrow and eliminating the sports editor position altogether, according to New York Post media columnist Keith J. Kelly.
That’s after a 2018 that saw massive layoffs throughout the sports department courtesy their Tronc corporate overlords. Via Kelly:
In a Thursday memo that was obtained by The Post, Barrow told staff that he wouldn’t be replaced.
“Well folks, I have just been told that I’ve been let go. My position is being eliminated. Not sure what that means for the sports dept. but today is my last day. As a matter of fact, I’m being asked to leave ASAP.”
The Daily News sports department had already been hard hit by an unprecedented downsizing in July, in which the newsroom was cut in half to about 40 people as part of overall cuts of about 110 people.
It’s the elimination of the position that’s striking here. It’s a fairly major paper in the top media market in the country just deciding to cut a key position entirely. As Kelly notes, the Daily News was already cutting back heavily in sports coverage:
Tribune has been scrambling to stem losses estimated at between $20 million and $30 million. The paper cut back to only one baseball reporter to cover both the Mets and the Yankees.
Cutting the head off of the department can’t be a great sign for everyone else who worked underneath Barrow, either. This is obviously becoming a routine thing as the newspaper industry continues to struggle, although it remains unclear how exactly Tronc expects to make more money owning newspapers if none of them exist anymore.