It was announced that veteran Green Bay Packers’ beat writer Bob McGinn is leaving the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel today. Most estimated that McGinn was retiring, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
He’s just moving on.
To eliminate any confusion: I loved working at JS. My departure is 1000% my decision. Not retiring. Hope to write some but what, for whom???
Bob McGinn is an institution to some, but he isn’t to me. I actually took note back when Greg Bedard left the Journal-Sentinel. He went on to cover the Patriots for the Boston Globe and then work for fat-ass, nugget-giver and overall Goodell-shill Peter King at MMQB… until he didn’t.
But this is supposed to be an homage to Bob McGinn, isn’t it?
Personally, I suspect McGinn will take a similar path and find some other, better, perhaps more lucrative writing gig.
I also suspect the nature of the Journal-Sentinel may have played some part in this. Having worked for newspapers, then magazines and publishing companies for many of my formative years, I long ago saw the writing on the wall. Industries based on news dissemination that is printed on paper aren’t going to make me any money. They can’t even make themselves any money in most cases.
This past season, we were all — at least all of us here — surprised when the Green Bay Press-Gazette and Journal-Sentinel announced that their coverage of the Packers would be combined. This deal seemed to serve the Press-Gazette more than the Journal-Sentinel, since I only ever saw any of either organization’s writers’ stories on the P-G website.
Did the Journal-Sentinel still provide Packers coverage? I guess, but it was largely invisible.
Ultimately, I would guess this decision at least partially comes down to Gannett. The Journal-Sentinel is now part of the USA Today Network. The USA Today Network is owned by Gannett, which bought the Appleton Post-Crescent when I worked there. They bought the Oshkosh Northwestern after I worked there. They own multiple newspapers in Wisconsin, including the Press-Gazette. They started with buying up smaller dailies, but now they’re onto the larger ones, who still don’t know how to survive. Gannett now owns the Arizona Republic, Detroit Free Press (no longer free), Indianapolis Star and, of course, the Journal Sentinel.
Gannett is a company before they are publishers of news. They want to make a profit, so… we can combine these reporting staffs that cover the Packers for efficiency!
And that’s swell for them. Frankly, it’s swell for us.
So there’s your context.
Here’s some more.
Bob McGinn was one of the few Packers’ beat boys who wasn’t always complimentary. And good for him for that.
What I’ll always remember is this, however.
Back in October of 2015, the Journal-Sentinel published a story about defensive lineman Letroy Guion’s many run-ins with the law. The Packers, as I personally know they are apt to do, were not happy with this and tried to intimidate the person who wrote this piece, Michael Cohen.
In retaliation, McGinn wrote a scathing piece detailing the incident and how the Packers had become a win-at-any-cost organization.
Most of us thought it was a little over the top, but here’s a guy who will not let shitdickery slide, right? So, naturally, when the Packers’ organization tried to bully and intimidate us, we contacted McGinn and Cohen, assuming they would be at least sympathetic to our situation.
We didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply, so, Elaine, kudos on a job… done.