Bob Ford Leaving the Philadelphia Inquirer After 32 Years

Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford is leaving the paper after three decades, per him:

Bob was always a pleasure to talk to at Sixers games and practices. Great dude with a witty personality. Sardonic, but in a good way, if that makes any sense at all. He was one of those people you always sought out for conversation when he was in the building.

Ford was a staple at the Inquirer since most of us were children or teenagers, covering the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles, and Flyers as a wide-ranging columnist. Even going through his archives at the Inquirer website, he wrote about the Olympics, Villanova, and March Madness in the past couple of months.

His departure is the latest in a series of high-profile Inquirer exits. Last July, John Smallwood, Sam Donnellon, Rick O’Brien, and Stu Bykofsky took buyouts as part of another round of cost-cutting measures. Zach Berman had earlier left for The Athletic while Mike Kern, Bob Vetrone, and Dick Jerardi departed at the end of 2017. Along the way, the Inquirer brain trust has put forth dirt cheap offers in an effort to get more readers to buy digital and print subscriptions, and now the latest legacy media obstacle is a global pandemic which has completely shut down the sports world.

Some of these veterans are leaving on their own terms, and some aren’t, and it’s difficult to know how many of these media lay offs and cuts are truly due to COVID-19 or whether companies like Gannett and Entercom had targeted specific folks prior to the pandemic. The latter happened with the Rob Charry situation, I’m told, but either way, there seems to be a significant changing of the guard taking place in the world of sports media, with a number of well-known personalities moving on to retirement, or other things.

Best of luck to Bob Ford, a fantastic writer and quality human being.

EDIT:

Reached out to Bob and this is what he had to say –

“Took a buyout. My choice. No pressure, not COVID related. I’m 65 and want to do other things and it was a good deal. Not much more complicated than that.”

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19 Responses

  1. Would have been great if the K*ntucky d*rby was S@turday. P*rfect we@ther for outs*de b*ers and D JerAdi d*rby picks. Throw in a fly*rs or s*xers pl@yoff game. F

  2. Breaking good news: A potential vaccine for the Coronavirus is being developed in Germany. We are just shocked that it hasn’t come from Kenya.

  3. Uh oh… this is not good.
    one less source for kinkuer to steal articles from, changes a few words and then repost them as his own.

    That okay. maybe ceebeeEss will hire you back if you promise to to schpew your hateful reycist
    rhetoric.

  4. I always looked forward to Bob’s work, covering the Tour De France (covered as well by the late Bill Lyon). Hard to believe the same paper, which has really made a hard turn to the Left, could afford the money to send reporters overseas to France to cover that long distance race. But of course, back then, the paper still had some good to excellent writers on board, which cannot be said right now. A shame, but they shot themselves in the feet by alienting over 50% of their newspaper buying public. The writers who got out with some semblance of a pension or good buyout, I feel good for. Those hanging with that paper are gonna be in for a big surprise in the coming years.

    Not a good time to be in the hard newsprint business these days. The people in charge, who elected willingly to take their editorial and reporting slant to the hard left, will be the ones responsible for killing off the american institutions.

    Appreciate the stuff Kevin Kinkead is putting out with this blog. It’s unfortunate that the commenting community here is what it is. I think he deserves better.

    1. Dear lord, get off your soapbox. Newspaper aren’t dying due to their political slant; they’re dying nationwide because people under 40 have no interest in reading physical newspapers and don’t want to pay for gateway access to local news they can find elsewhere for free. At the same time, ad revenue was already circling the drain for print media and now it’s on life support. What killed print media was opening the pandora’s box of “everything’s free!” in the early days of the Internet. Can’t put that genie back in the bottle, it was just exceptionally bad foresight that ultimately doomed an entire industry.

  5. I’ve noticed that the same 12-15 gibrones call every…focking…day…

  6. These days, a lot of the Inquirer sportswriters are not writing about what is going on in the “Toy Dept.”, but you will see their bylines in the news section, writing about COVID-19-related stories. All to keep them on payroll. What would Sandy Grady or Elmer Smith think about this? Maybe they tried to do this with Bob Ford, and he resisted.

  7. No soapbox, just observing actual reality. Have you actually read the Inquirer and Daily News in the past few years? Are you old enough to have read it back in the time Buddy Ryan was coaching the Eagles? How about the years under Vermiel? If so, I suppose we’d not having this conversation, cause you’d have agreed with my opinion based on actually reading these papers over the years, to know they have become nothing but the media voice for one political party. I was always a lover of the newspaper. Nothing better then getting the Sunday editions of any local paper to get the major league stats compiled for each team. The day after breakdown of an Eagles win or loss by about a dozen or so outstanding writers, including some local and national hall of famers. Same for Baseball, Basketball and Hockey. That’s all gone now.

    People who were around to watch the Flyers hold their two winning Stanley Cups up high, to have watched the rise of the Eagles under Vermiel, to have agonized along with the Phils in that great Astros series of 1980, then the championship parade of 80; the Fo, Fo, Fo of Moses and the 83 Sixers……..we all didn’t shrivel up and just blown away with the wind. Those who tired of seeing our newspapers taken over by Bolsheviks like Will Bunch and his ilk just elected to walk away and as you say, look to get their team info via free sites or even local talk radio. Sites free of political bs. I personally like my sports to be just sports and far leftist opinions be countered by a fair opposing point of view be herded and put into the op ed section of a site. Unfortunately, those opinions have now spilled over into the news section; even guiding how the news is to be written.

    You make very good points, however it’s my observation that folks 40 and younger have not much interest in hard news beyond what happened in the game the night before. It kills me to see what’s happened with print media cause I used to believe a vital news industry was important for a free democracy to survive. Maybe it will, with the on-line medium. Control the news, control the message, control the reader.

  8. I will miss you. I loved your end of year reviews! Enjoy the next adventure. At 66, it is wonderful to move forward!

  9. More cuts and layoffs, and the Inquirer will turn into a broadsheet version of The Metro. Sad.

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