Barnhart joins TMGcollegesports.com

From TMGcollegesports.com

The second season of TMGcollegesports.com got a major jolt of adrenaline in August with the addition of Tony Barnhart, aka Mr. College Football, who agreed to become the fourth member of the band.

TMG, a subscription website dedicated to college football with side trips to all other sports, was founded in July of 2016 by three veteran scribes: Chris Dufresne, Mark Blaudschun and Herb Gould.

“I am more than thrilled to be working, not just with great writers, but with great friends,” Barnhart said of joining TMG. “I am honored to be a part of it.”

The addition of Barnhart gives TMG more than 150 combined years of journalism experience. Barnhart, Blaudschun and Dufresne are also all former FWAA Presidents.

Barnhart, who spent the bulk of his newspaper days at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, is a multi-platform performer who is still heavily involved with the SEC Network and remains a highly-sought speaker on the Southern “talking season” circuit.

TMG just keeps growing. We added a regular weekly podcast this year and also a “Guest Lecturer” series with contributions (so far) from grizzled vets Tom Luicci and Wendell Barnhouse.

We think TMG is the best subscription bargain out there with a special “professional” rate for FWAA members at only $14.95 per year.

TMG: For more than the score.

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Jack Bogaczyk retires, pens farewell column

Jack Bogaczyk on the Cam Henderson Center floor with one of his three NSSA West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year awards.

Jack Bogaczyk on the Cam Henderson Center floor with one of his three NSSA West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year awards.

Editor’s note: Longtime FWAA member Jack Bogaczyk retired June 30. Bogaczyk, a four-time FWAA writing award winner who worked the last four years as a web columnist and magazine editor for Marshall University Athletics, was a former sports columnist in Roanoke, Va., and Charleston, W.Va., (where he was also sports editor), as well as a sportswriter at newspapers in Binghamton, N.Y., and Covington, Ky. Bogaczyk and his wife, Carol, are relocating to Florence, Ky.

The following is a portion of his final column.

This is my last column for HerdZone.com and HerdInsider.com. As some readers are aware, I am retiring from the sportswriting profession into which I made a somewhat accidental entrance nearly 50 years ago, and today (June 30) is my last day of work. My wife, Carol, and I will be moving soon to northern Kentucky, which is “home” for us because we grew up there in the shadow of Cincinnati … but haven’t lived there in nearly 44 years of marriage.

In four-plus years with Marshall Athletics and Herd Insider, I have written more than 1,100 stories – this one is No. 1,103, to be exact. In my years behind the keyboard, I’ve seen a lot of big games, been a lot of great places and witnessed plenty of compelling moments … not to mention seen a lot of changes, like working behind a computer monitor rather than with typewriter and paper, or ending a story with a -30-.

Marshall Coach Doc Holliday and the Herd football team showed their appreciation to Jack Bogaczyk for his coverage on a rainy April Saturday to cap 2016 spring practice.

Marshall Coach Doc Holliday and the Herd football team showed their appreciation to Jack Bogaczyk for his coverage on a rainy April Saturday to cap 2016 spring practice.

I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor more than a few younger writers and publicists who have gone on to love the craft as much as I do. Helping our profession with such encouragement has been important to me and will remain so when I have the opportunity.

But what I liked most about what I was doing – then and now – is that it was different every day. Sports stories are a lot like fingerprints. Every game is different. Every story is different. Rarely is a situation you deal with quite the same as the day or week or year before.

It’s often live, taking place only yards in front of you, and there are times when you’re sweating like the participants – like when you have 20 minutes until deadline and you need to file a 650-word, no-quotes column on an NCAA Tournament title game that’s just ending.

But to me, what sports writing and sports public relations are mostly about is people. It’s about making a connection. When you’re writing a story and quoting someone, it’s about he or she letting you into their thoughts and/or their lives, and trusting you to tell their story … and whether good or bad, to get it right.

Huntington (W.Va.) Mayor Steve Williams (center) presents Jack Bogaczyk (left) with signage denoting that a traffic light on Third Avenue – adjacent to the Marshall University campus – was named in Bogaczyk’s honor on June 22, 2016. At right is Paul Swann, host of First Sentry Bank Sportsline on Huntington’s WRVC, where Bogaczyk was a Wednesday regular.

Huntington (W.Va.) Mayor Steve Williams (center) presents Jack Bogaczyk (left) with signage denoting that a traffic light on Third Avenue – adjacent to the Marshall University campus – was named in Bogaczyk’s honor on June 22, 2016. At right is Paul Swann, host of First Sentry Bank Sportsline on Huntington’s WRVC, where Bogaczyk was a Wednesday regular.

I have never forgotten that. I always tried to fulfill that responsibility. Yes, it’s good to be first with a story. But it’s great to be accurate. It’s paramount. The reader and the subject are counting on you. It’s OK to be tough, as long as you’re fair.

And in the good ol’ days when print was king, you couldn’t take it back. These days, you can take an online version down. Once a story was on the page, however, you couldn’t hit the “delete” key.

Most days over the years, I haven’t looked upon what I do as a job. It was a calling that turned into a passion. What I wrote about seemed to intrigue people, and so I tried to deliver something intriguing to them.

I wanted people to learn something from what I wrote. And I wanted to learn something while working background for a story and base my opinions on fact and go from there. If somebody wanted to know a reason why I wrote what I did, I wanted to have more than one reason to offer.

To me, writing about sports is what I always wanted my copy to be – compelling. I might be retiring, but I hope to continue writing about sports in some fashion until I can’t anymore. I may have lost some hair, may have lost some hearing, but I don’t want to lose my keyboard.

A lot of people deserve thanks, but the ones at the top of the list are you – the readers. Without readers, we’re nowhere.

From copyboy to Colorado Classic, Irv Moss did it all in career that spanned more than 60 years

Editor’s note: Terry Frei of the Denver Post recently paid tribute to Irv Moss, who retired from the paper at age 81 on June 20.

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the FWAA. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the FWAA. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

Moss, who has covered events in Colorado for 60 years, received the FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award in January during the FWAA’s annual awards breakfast.

Here is a portion of Terry’s story.

In the spring of 1956, Denver Post sports editor Chuck Garrity was impressed with the newsroom copyboy’s hustle as he delivered the stock market ticker tape and wire-service copy to various departments.

Eventually, Garrity asked the young man: “Do you want to try this?”

“This” was sports writing.

 Sure, Irv Moss said.

Garrity assigned Moss to cover the men’s fast-pitch softball league at City Park, which routinely drew standing-room-only crowds of more than 5,000. If the untried Moss fouled up the high-profile assignment, Garrity would hear about it.

Moss got his story in and in June 1956 became a full-fledged writer in the Post’s sports department. After a stay of more than 60 years at the Post, Moss’ final day as a full-time reporter was June 24, making him one of the longest serving newspaper employees in the country. He will continue to write the Rockies’ minor-league report on a freelance basis through August.

“It was an interesting time to watch, and in a way, be part of the changing of Denver as a sports city,” Moss, 81, said. “When I first started down here, City Park softball was the big story. And next thing you know, we’re one of the top sports markets in the country.”

To read Terry’s entire story, CLICK HERE.

Dufresne to be honored as FWAA Beat Writer of the Year; read his farewell column after 40 years at the LA Times

2013 FWAA President Chris Dufresne

2013 FWAA President Chris Dufresne

Chris Dufresne, president of the Football Writers Association of America in 2013, will be honored as the FWAA’s Beat Writer of the Year and receive a commemorative football at our annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 11 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa.

Dufresne also recently retired after 40 years at The Los Angeles Times. CLICK HERE to read his Farewell Column, published on Dec. 8 in The Times.

 

 

 

 

Dufresne leaving LA Times

2013 FWAA President Chris Dufresne

2013 FWAA President Chris Dufresne

All the news that’s fit to print — in 140 characters.  Chris Dufresne, president of the Football Writers Association of America in 2013, announced on Twitter this week that he is leaving the Los Angeles Times.

“News that will thrill some, sadden others: Buyout application accepted today from L.A. Times. Sorry, 140 characters can’t wrap up 40 years.”

Dufresne, a long-time national football and basketball reporter, started at the paper when he was 18 years old. His departure will come within the next couple of months.

Tom Kensler calls it a day after 38-plus years in newspapers

For those who haven’t heard, long-time Denver Post sports reporter Tom Kensler has decided to take a buyout and retire.

The following is an email blast Tom sent to dozens of his friends and colleagues on Tuesday:

A quick shout out to some of my pals (and sorry to those I mistakenly left out):For those who have not heard, I have eagerly accepted the Denver Post’s voluntary buyout package.

Tom Kensler

Tom Kensler

It appears my termination day, as HR calls it, will be Monday (June 29th). But because I am in midst of a stretch of accrued time off, I have filed my final piece for the Post.

I soon will turn 64, so the buyout comes at a good time for me. And I figure 38-plus years in the business, including almost 26 years with the Post, is enough.

It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I had planned to work another to years, to my 66th birthday. But with my seniority at the Post, I will receive a year’s salary in the buyout settlement. Post also paying its portion of health insurance for a year, so continuing coverage through COBRA won’t take a big hit.

The year of benefits will take me to within weeks of age 65 and Medicare eligibility, so it all made sense.

Please keep in touch. Pam is still working, and we plan to remain in Arvada America, as we like to call it.

My cell phone is 303-725-8556. Email: tomkens@aol.com. I’ll always be up for chatting about old times and hope our paths cross often.

For those who live out of state, it must be time for a vacation to Colorado. Be sure to call me if you come this way. I love playing tour guide. I know where the good craft breweries are and also mountain destinations.

I have cherished our friendship.

Tom

 

Bud Withers retires from Seattle Times 1

Bud Withers

Bud Withers

FWAA member Bud Withers announced his retirement on Friday April 10 with the following e-mail blast to friends and colleagues:

Hey folks: Just a note to say that this is my last day of work at the Seattle Times. I’m retiring after 45 years in this biz, and it’s mostly been a blast. I’m able to go out on my own terms, which in this industry these days, is a distinct blessing. 

I don’t plan to disappear, but my e-mail address is changing to casabudman@gmail.com. My cell remains 206-794-4027. I’ve enjoyed working with and around you, and if you’re in this neck of the woods, don’t hesitate to look me up. I know where the good bars are . . .

Cheers,

Bud Withers

Click here to read some of Bud’s recent stories for the Seattle Times.

 

Bagnato, Pflipsen Take Next Step

Andy Bagnato and Kristen Pflipsen, long-time FWAA members, have formed Bagnato Pflipsen Communications LLC, a full-service communications consulting firm in the Phoenix area.

“After writing the successful bid for Arizona’s 2016 College Football National Championship Game last fall, we both felt a sense of closure,” they wrote in a press release. “We had seen the Fiesta Bowl organization through its crisis and needed a new challenge. As the Fiesta Bowl went through its reorganization, the timing could not have been better.”

The Phoenix Final Four, an attempt to land an NCAA men’s national basketball semifinals, was their first client.

“Working on the Phoenix Final Four bid has given us an opportunity to expand our reach and work within both the sports and tourism industries,” they wrote. “Although there is always uncertainty starting a new business, we have been energized by working on a variety of projects.  Our website, http://www.bagnatopflipsen.com, will launch soon.”

More Comings and Goings

Arnie Sgalio of  ESPN and ERT  has retired after 19 years. … Christopher Walsh is now a beat writer/columnist for Saturdays Down South. … Stewart Mandel has moved from Sports Illustrated to FoxSports.com. … Tony Barnhart has switched from CBS Sports to the SEC Network. … Gina Mizzel has traveled from The Daily Oklahoman all the way to Oregon to cover Oregon State for the Oregonian. … More…

Comings and goings 2

Mark Anderson from the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been named the 2014 second vice president of the FWAA and moves into the line of presidential succession two years from now. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald, second vice president in 2013, automatically moved up to the first vice president’s role in 2014 behind FWAA President Kirk Bohls.

Comings and Goings

Long-time Denver Post writer John Henderson has retired from his daily job in Colorado and has moved to Italy where he has spent time in the past either on leave or on vacation. We hope at some time to get an update on his daily rituals there. … More…

Dick Weiss reinvents himself after layoff

Dick Weiss

Dick Weiss

Former FWAA President Dick Weiss was interviewing Penn State coach Bill O’Brien last May in New York when he got a call from his office at the New York Daily News, informing him that he was being laid off.

But what seemed at the time to be a devastating end to a distinguished career soon proved instead to be merely a reset.

You’ve heard of survival of the fittest? This is survival of the nicest.

To read the Seth Davis’ entire story for SI.com, click here.