As executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Bill Church is aware of the "passion" that readers may have for various things.
In direct response to a question about why his newspaper has no bowling coverage, he stated: "The Herald-Tribune covers a large market and has an engaged, educated readership with many interests. Invariably we're not going to meet everyone's passions, but no other news and information company offers a better day-to-day assessment of key interests."
Therefore, Church acknowledges that bowlers and bowling fans may have a passion for the sport and may, in fact, want to see bowling coverage in the Herald-Tribune sports pages. However, Church, along with H-T sports editor Scott Peterson, has obviously decided to ignore any bowling-related passion.
Church and Peterson seem to have no difficulty finding adequate space for golf and tennis coverage, and the H-T continues to publish regular columns on those sports. But space for bowling? Fugetaboutit!
It has been 15 months since a bowling column -- or any coverage of bowling -- has appeared in the Herald-Tribune. By contrast, in addition to golf columns, Peterson's pages contained 2,782 column inches of local golf scores in 2013 and 307 already this year.
Bowling slipped even farther down the H-T sports priority ladder this week, when -- as a headline stated -- a new column "finds a home in sports."
Indeed, in the words of new columnist Lee Williams, "First-time readers can expect a healthy dose of gun news." And the column, slated to run every Wednesday, is to be written by a journalist who claims that "Shooting is my passion."
Without a doubt, Williams has a big-time passion for guns, as evidenced by the fact that in the first 39 days of the current year, he has already posted 35 blogs on the Herald-Tribune Web site. To check out any or all of those blogs, click here.
As The Gun Writer column now also moves to the print media, the initial Feb. 5 offering represents more H-T print coverage than bowling has received in more than a year. And the gun column will run weekly, whereas even before bowling columns were eliminated, they were only allowed to run every other week. To view the Feb. 5 gun column, click here.
It's more than obvious that Church and Peterson have little interest in bowling, so the absence of an H-T bowling column shouldn't be surprising. It's even doubtful that they would cover the sport, even if a would-be columnist volunteered to write with no compensation.
Congratulations to Lee Williams and all the coverage he has achieved for his gun-related passion. It would certainly be nice if the H-T eidtors would also acknowledge bowling-related passion.
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