Why Did Bozich and Crawford Leave the Courier?

On Monday evening, we found out that Louisville Courier-Journal sports columnists Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich are leaving the paper for WDRB television.

It's a coup for WDRB and a blow to the newspaper, as Crawford and Bozich are undeniable stars of local sports coverage. In the hours after the announcement, we've seen a number of comments from the parties involved. Here is a brief oral history of the deal. These quotes are culled from Insider Louisville (which broke the story and talked with WDRB GM Bill Lamb), Eric Crawford's blogEric Crawford's appearance on Sports Radio 790 Tuesday morning and the Courier-Journal

Bozich: Getting hired by The Courier-Journal in 1978 was the professional thrill of my life. It’s been an incredible privilege to work with so many great journalists. (Courier-Journal)

Lamb: They were happy where they were, as far as I know. But we showed them what a good fit it could be. (Insider Louisville)

Crawford: We thought maybe they wanted to talk about us coming on once a week as an add-on deal. [The job offer] was pretty shocking to us and it took us a while to wrap our heads around [it]…the longer we thought about it, the more we realized a lot of people are trying it one way, maybe there's something to be gained by trying it another way…it was a difficult thing to leave the Courier-Journal. (Sports Radio)

Crawford: I don't think either of us would have tried it without the other. (Sports Radio)

Lamb: We’re not pushing it too hard. They’ll have a home here when they’re ready, and we’re going to make sure they have a great start. (Insider Louisville)

Crawford: There are a lot of things that go into it, but I think the main thing that attracted Rick Bozich and me was just the chance to do what we've been doing. I'm still writing four columns a week and doing all the blogging I was and more, but now you have this whole new broadcast component available to you. (Sports radio)

Lamb: This is just a hypothetical, and we’re not planning to do this. But we could send them to the Belmont (Stakes in New York this weekend) and they could work with the sports anchor as well as be expert commentators. (Insider Louisville)

Crawford: The tool of choice in journalism today is the knife. Staffs are cut. Coverage areas are constricted. Employees are furloughed. Some of the most seasoned journalists are bought out. (Crawford's blog)

Lamb: I think everyone sees the Courier as vulnerable. (Insider Louisville)

Crawford: The Courier-Journal is a force…how well it does doesn't have any bearing on how it will do in the future because it's tied to a large national corporation. No one said we're going to less than seven-day a week papers. Nobody talked about it while I was there and I don't think it'll happen in the near future. (Sports Radio)

Crawford: We don't know how this is going to work. It's a risk. But it's different. (Sports Radio)

Crawford: It will be locally and locally-executed and we're not going to be so much dependent on having things dictated to us about what we can do here in Louisville, Kentucky. That made it, to us, the best place to try something bold and new. (Sports Radio)

Gabe Bullard

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.

@gbullard

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