Not long for this world
HoyaTalk was abuzz last week when The Washington Times announced it was cutting its local news, sports, and feature content, and shifting to a free distribution model. For Georgetown fans on the site, this meant that the arguably best source of off-campus Hoya basketball coverage was on the chopping block.
Sadly, Barker Davis (CAS ’94), who has covered the Hoyas in the Times for twelve of the last fifteen seasons in addition to other sports, confirmed for Vox that he will indeed be out of the college basketball business by early next year.
“As of Feb. 2 at the absolute latest, the Times won’t be covering ANY local sports, not Redskins, Caps, Terps, Hoyas — NADA,” he wrote in an e-mail. “They are blowing up the sports department and I understand nearly half of all editorial staff and content. I’m already looking at how much more education I need to teach English Lit and coach hoops in public HS.”
Davis’s career has spanned three Georgetown coaches and has seen the rise of the Hoyas back to recent national prominence since the “dark days” of the early 2000s. He will be writing a bi-weekly column on American sports for the London Sunday Telegraph next year, but he said will not be able to feature the Hoyas in his articles—though as a Georgetown graduate familiar with the team, he will continue to pay very close attention “on a personal level.”
Hoya bloggers have been thinking about how to fill the void left by dwindling local coverage. Casual Hoya blogger Andrew Geiger (COL ’99) said that fan-supported blogs have attempted to give Hoyas an opportunity to “become their own beat writers,” which could open up the discussion to more fans on a wider range of topics, “from recruiting, to points spreads, to Jay Wright’s hair products.”
Some fans on HoyaTalk had hoped The Washington Post could hire Davis to bolster their Hoyas coverage, with one poster even jokingly suggesting that the Hoya and Voice might also submit offers.
Mr. Davis, for the sake of local readers and the Hoyas growing national fan base, we’d love to send a salary request for you to our Media Board. But like the rest newspaper industry, the chances of success for that request don’t look too good.