An Interview with Tracy Ringolsby (Part 2)

An Interview with Tracy Ringolsby (Part 2)

An Interview with Tracy Ringolsby (Part 2)

“It’s unnerving. You spend 40 years in an industry and suddenly it starts to disappear. Funny thing is I was reluctant to accept overtures from Internets in recent years because at my age I wanted something that might be a little more stable. Now look at me.”

“As soon as the announcement was made in December I began touching base with as many people as possible, looking to set up contingency plans… I discussed what was going on with others, and fortunately most people understood so when the decision came down I had several free-lance gigs in place to help me remain visible through the season in hopes of finding something more solid next season.”

Tracy Ringolsby: Interviewed on April 14, 2009

Position: pre-game and post-game analyst, FSN Rocky Mountain telecasts of Colorado Rockies, columnist foxsports.com and Baseball America, consultant MLB Network, and created insidetherockies.com.

Born: 1951, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Education: enrolled at University of Wyoming, social sciences. Received honorary PhD in Letters from University of Wyoming in May of 2009

Career: UPI, 1971-77; Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram, 77-80; Seattle Press-Intelligencer 80-83; KC Star 83-86; Dallas Morning News 86-92; Rocky Mountain News 92 – 09; currently pre-game, post-game analyst FSN Rocky Mountain telecasts of Colorado Rockies, columnist foxsports.com and Baseball America, consultant MLB Network, and created insidetherockies.com.

Personal: married, one daughter (Laramie)

Favorite restaurant (road): Waffle House “hash browns scattered smothered chunked and diced”

Favorite restaurant (home): Little Bear Inn, Cheyenne “old steak house”

Favorite hotel: Stanford Court, SF “quiet and comfortable”

Honors: J.G. Taylor Spink Award, 2005; Colorado Sports Writer of the Year 2005 and 2008; Colorado Press Association Shining Star 2000; Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame 2009.

Q. What does it feel like to have your newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, shut down? What were the final weeks and days like?

A. It’s unnerving. You spend 40 years in an industry and suddenly it starts to disappear. Funny thing is I was reluctant to accept overtures from Internets in recent years because at my age I wanted something that might be a little more stable. Now look at me.

Once the announcement came in early December that Scripps was seeking an owner and would give buyers until mid-January to respond I understood that the paper was going to close. Three months later, when they made it formal, it was a relief in that we had been in limbo for so long. At least there was a finality when the decision was announced.

Q. Was it inevitable? Why or why not?

A. It was inevitable because the owner was a corporation with no local ties or emotions. Corporations look at bottom lines. They don’t have a reason to feel any loyalty to a region or its residents or the employees because their decisions are purely financial. What Scripps showed is it did not have the guts or desire to win a battle. It preferred to tuck its tail and run away even though a win seemed very likely if Scripps had stayed in the battle.

Q. How did you transition? What kind of planning was involved? What is your advice to writers and editors at struggling newspapers?

A. As soon as the announcement was made in December I began touching base with as many people as possible, looking to set up contingency plans. I wasn’t about to sit around and wait for Scripps to formally make an announcement. I discussed what was going on with others, and fortunately most people understood so when the decision came down I had several free-lance gigs in place to help me remain visible through the season in hopes of finding something more solid next season.

Q. What are your career objectives going forward? What would you like to do?

A. That’s a decision that will be made over the summer. I have my hand in a lot of different areas so I can get a feel for what each offers, and then I will see if there is an offer from anybody. At this stage of my life, I am looking for some control over my security. I no longer have long-term sights.

Q. What is your advice to students who want a career in sports media?

A. There is a definite future. It’s a matter of finding the proper model for the internet. Once that happens the demand for writers will increase. There is going to be plenty of demand for copy and the biggest expenses — publishing and distribution — will be eliminated.

Q. Your picks for MLB division champions, league champions, and World Series champion? Best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Rockies?

A. I like the Phillies, Cubs and Dodgers with the Mets as wild-cards in the NL, and the Red Sox, White Sox and Angels in the AL with Tampa Bay the wild card. I say Angels win it all. Best-case scenario for the Rockies is the arms develop in the rotation and they win the division. Worst-case is the arms don’t develop and they finish fourth.

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