More sports media news on a Friday afternoon.
Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Managing Editor Pat McLoone is leaving the newspaper, confirmed here by Eagles writer Paul Domowitch:
Been in this biz 45 years. @PatMcLoone is the very best boss I've ever had. Cared about the people under him. Understood the importance of "atta boys" to an overworked, underpaid staff. The @PhillyInquirer won't be nearly as good without him as it was with him. Gonna miss you.
— Paul Domowitch (@pdomo) January 22, 2021
No clue whether this is a retirement or what, but the news was circulated via internal memo on Friday. McLoone has been with the Inquirer for more than 40 years, beginning as a “part-time agate clerk,” according to his LinkedIn profile. That gig is when you basically compile the standings and box scores and other assorted data that goes in the newspaper.
I’d imagine sports editor Gary Potosky would be in line to replace McLoone, though who knows these days. That company has been traversing a rocky road for several years now, with a lot of people coming and going. The sports department has gone through changes, though most of the negative recent publicity has stemmed from the news and editorial side of things. We’re talking Stu Bykofsky’s lawsuit, the “Buildings Matter, Too” headline, and stuff like that.
Anyway, we’ll keep an eye on this, and try to determine what Pat’s departure means for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s sports coverage.
We’ve obtained the memo, which reads as such:
“Pat McLoone, an accomplished newsroom leader whose distinguished career in journalism has always been in the service of Philadelphia, is leaving The Inquirer, effective Jan. 31.
The decision is based on the need to greatly accelerate the digital transformation of sports coverage in 2021. We have a talented sports staff that deeply appreciates our coverage. Now we need to increase the pace of innovation and experiment with new features – including data, interactives, and tools for fans – so we can drive subscriptions in an intensely competitive environment.
Pat led the merger of the sports departments of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. A crowning, and lasting achievement was the stellar coverage of the victorious Eagles season in 2017-18 when the team earned its first Super Bowl. The body of work included a book published within days of that momentous Sunday triumph.
A native Philadelphian, Pat began his career at the Daily News more than 40 years ago as an editorial assistant. Over the course of four-plus decades, his ascension included jobs as a sports writer and copy editor, then more than 31 years in management as a sports editor, executive sports editor, and assistant managing editor.
Pat’s contributions as manager were not limited to the sports world. He was managing editor of the Daily News from 2008 to 2016 when Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism in 2010.
Pat is known for his collegiality, encyclopedic knowledge of Philadelphia sports and for advocating for those he supervises. He was also one of the first news managers to establish fruitful working relationships with colleagues on the business side of the company.
We will be launching a national search for his replacement.
Gabriel Escobar, Editor
(You might recall Escobar recently took over for Stan Wischnowski, who resigned in the wake of the “Buildings Matter” SCANDAL that resulted in a newsroom mini-revolt)
Edit #2 – an Inquirer employee says it was not a “mini-revolt” but a “major” revolt
Edit #3 – Here’s a quote from Pat, provided to CB:
“It’s been a great run. I started at the Daily News weeks before Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson in 1980. I have worked with so many talented people. I have plenty of gas left in the tank and look forward to my next opportunity.”