Josh Barnett and John Quinn, sports editors for the Daily News and Inquirer, respectively (to The 700 Level):
We will have a group of writers whose work will exclusively appear in the Daily News, a group of writers whose work will exclusively appear in the Inquirer and a group of writers whose work will appear in both papers. Everything in the print editions — and much more — will appear on philly.com along with new content that is being finalized.
What we have identified as “beat writer” information — game stories, transactions, injury updates, etc. — will be shared between the papers and handled by one writer per beat although we will supplement that one writer with other staffers to add depth and perspective to that information in both print and online.
On a macro level, this kind of change definitely makes sense. The basic game recap or minor news story doesn’t need to be written up by a reporter at each paper. Giving guys like Les Bowen more time to write analysis rather than chase quotes is a positive development.
Still, I wonder about the long term ramifications of combining the two newspaper staffs. Eventually, if you get on well enough with one shared beat reporter, you start to wonder if you can combine the other roles too. By the time the next budget cuts come down, it’s the two groups of columnists/analysts who become redundant. Hopefully the readership will continue to demand more content and sports coverage won’t suffer.