Jack McCallum Leaves Sports Illustrated for Greener Pastures
Veteran basketball writer Jack McCallum is leaving Sports Illustrated, his employer for the last 27 years. McCallum, who is one of the most highly regarded basketball writers, has accepted a buyout from SI and claims that his exit was entirely voluntary.
McCallum is best known for his work in SI as well as his 2006 book ":07 Seconds or Less", which saw him follow the Phoenix Suns for an entire season. The book is considered a modern classic and one of the best basketball books ever written.
McCallum's departure is interesting on two fronts. While McCallum has yet to announce any future plans, it is possible that he will join the growing legion of sports writers who have abandoned print media to write online. He will likely receive offers from major online entities like Yahoo Sports and ESPN. Several prominent basketball writers like Marc Stein, Johnny Ludden, and Adrian Wojnarowski have left tehe print world to write online.
Others think that McCallum's SI departure is further proof that major media outlets are reducing their coverage of the NBA.
Attempting to read between the lines, it seems as if media outlets are throwing in the towel on the NBA. (USA Today basically abandoned the sport mid-season last year before moving Jon Sarceno over to the beat.) If you’re cutting costs, and you know that the NFL is the most popular sport, and readers seem more passionate about baseball than the NBA, then the move is simple. It’s not like David Stern cares - his focus is primarily on marketing the game in the Far East, where he’s got an audience of one billion to work with, and there’s no NFL to compete against.