Friday, March 03, 2006

Bill Dwyre Steps Down As Times Sports Editor

Bill Dwyre, a fair minded man and a fine sports editor, is stepping down as sports editor at the L.A. Times after 25 years and will be succeeded by Randy Harvey. Congratulations to both.

Bill will continue for a while longer as a sportswriter.

It was my privilege to be a colleague of Dwyre as the Times' Olympic writer for the 1984 Games and, after that, to work for him in Sports for some months and also write a book on the history of the 1984 Games. This was one of the most cherished of my relationships in 39 years at the Times.

Bill has grown grey in the company's service, and it could not have been easy in recent years, with cutbacks in the Sports section as well as other sections of the paper. He said last night that he had been trying to retire as sports editor for the past year and a half.

Always conscientious, Dwyre was unfairly criticized, sometimes jokingly and other times not, aa being a Notre Dame booster (he was a Notre Dame graduate), and as biased against USC. This was absolute tripe. In his years as sports editor, Dwyre was fair to everyone and he stood for absolute integrity in sports. His dislike of gambling and drugs in sport was legendary and did him credit.

Knowing him and his wife, Jill, was always a pleasure. Not only was he considerate as a boss, he was a good, self-deprecating commentator when he chose to be, had an excellent sense of humor and was always a class act. At the Times, he became an institution.

The Times was lucky to have him as sports editor and he will be missed. But Randy Harvey is a promising replacement. His replacement of Dwyre was arranged, it's my understanding, after Dave Morgan left for Yahoo, and Harvey was obtained back from the Baltimore Sun, which has suffered even more from Tribune cutbacks than the L.A. Times has.

On the Olympics, Dwyre was always their great booster and believed thoroughly in the international fellowship the Olympics represented. The special Olympic sections he put together were superb and after I stepped down as an Olympics writer, he made a good choice of Alan Abrahamson as my successor.

He will always be at the top of my list. It was both an honor and a pleasure to work for him.


Blogger shelly sloan said...

You can try to dismiss the bias against USC and other local teams as tripe, Ken, but it was not.

It was real, and it was damaging to Los Angeles and the effort to keep and bring Professional Football in LA. And, damaging to USC and UCLA.

His well known aversion to the Coliseum was legend; it was a matter of pride with him that he would not go to the Coliseum.

What kind of support is that for a major newspaper to offer to local teams?

We lost the Rams, we lost the Raiders, and we were trying to bring NFL football back to LA at the Coliseum.

But, no, Dwyre thought it "cute" to let Simers rant against the Coliseum. To Plaschke's credit, he took time to consider the issue and became a supporter. But never Dwyer, never the Times.

There is no other major newspaper in America that does not support it's local teams; just the Times and Dwyer.

I am hopeful that with a new editor we may actually see some support for local teams, and especially USC and UCLA.

Let Dwyer move to South Bend if he likes Notre Dame so much.

3/04/2006 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought it was the job of the newspaper to give fair and balanced reporting on what's happening locally, not blindly "support" the local teams. Columnists can support or not, but not the paper.

3/05/2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger shelly sloan said...

Fair and balanced would have been a relief.

Dwyer was not that.

It was all Notre Dame, and all against the Rams and the Raiders, USC and UCLA.

As a futher piece of evidence, despite my letter to the editor, Loyola Marymount University, which was in Los Angeles the last time I checked and which has a good basketball program, was not even listed under "local teams" on the Times' website "site map".

Another slight to local support.

Sorry, Dwyer was all about himself, and a smug journalist, like many others at the Times.

They can no longer afford such smugness if the Times is to survive.

Must be Hell to have to compete in the marketplace for space, but the bloggers are the new media, and the mainstream media will have to change its ways if they are to survive.

3/07/2006 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance. I doubt that anyone could have been more biased in the sports/teams that he had the staff cover and the WAY he had the staff cover them.

His anger towards USC and the Coluseum were plapable. He should have been a sport editor in Chicago so he could worship Notre Dame from a more convenient place.

Bill, don't let the door slap you in the @ss on the way out...and don't expect many tears from L.A.

8/12/2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad he didnĀ“t get the inside story on such noteables like the not so nice Freddy Couples. Sports ink and good smut to most wagging tounges!

2/17/2008 1:41 PM  

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