Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is the Journal Sentinel Staff Lacking Veteran Leadership

It is difficult to dispute that since Cliff Christl left, the Packers beat writers at the Journal Sentinel have been in a major slump. From getting scooped like Baskin Robbins by Jay Glazer, to their tendency to play fast and loose with facts, the Journal Sentinel is coming off its own losing season.

Let me ask this: do you think for one second that if Bill Belichick ran a newspaper, he would tolerate his writers poaching ideas without attribution?

No chance in hell.

So what went wrong?

The answer is clear (though perhaps a little too pat and overly simplistic): the Journal Sentinel lost too much veteran experience when Cliff Christl left. Sure they still have Bob McGinn, but I don't think that McGinn is the same type of vocal leader that the staff needs. He is just too nice of a guy and doesn't get nasty with his readers the way Cliff used to do.

Statistically speaking, the Journal Sentinel is much younger with Bedard instead of Christl. Sooner or later the Journal Sentinel is going to have to face the fact that the youth movement has been a complete failure. You can't replace a legend like Christl with some midpriced journeyman from Miami who just spent years breathing the same air as Ricky Williams (if you know what I mean).

So where does the Journal Sentinel go from here?

They clearly have to be much more aggressive in free agency. Are they really so deluded that they think they can build from within?

Does Chris Havel have a job? Now there's a writer that has demonstrated the ability to get nasty when he needs to.


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