Dallas' Only Daily: The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper

Once upon a time, ours was a three sports-page town. There were enough readers - enough advertisers - for the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram to not only survive, but thrive.

Shoot, one of my first jobs at the FWS-T in the late '80s was to re-write the headlines from the morning paper for an afternoon edition. So bountiful was the harvest that it supported two versions a day.

Not anymore.

As we've chronicled - hey, we're in the same boat - print media is in worse shape than Bush's Presidency. The end is just a matter of time.

I keep getting reminded of the impending doom by Dallas' Only Daily.

First, the paper started putting ads on the front page of SportsDay. Then, auto classifieds crammed into the back of the section. And now, agate!

That's right, my beloved, expanded NBA and NHL standings have been whittled to bare-bones skeletons of information. Where a year ago - even a month ago - I could turn to the NBA page and study the Mavs' record at home, on the road, within a conference, within their division and over their last 10 games, I must now flip to "Scoreboard" where tiny "agate" type gives me only the basics.

Wins. Losses. Percentage. Games behind.

Recession.

Things aren't exactly going swimmingly at my old stomping grounds either, but in this grave, new world the NBA and NHL standings over at the DMN now get the same statistical play as the NBA Developmental League, Minor League Hockey and area bowling results.

Surely, and not that slowly, the Dallas Morning News' appearance is shrinking, deteriorating into the Waco Tribune.

Over Christmas I read TCU-Boise State bowl-game stories by the same writer - the FWS-T's Mercedes Mayer - in the DMN at my house and in the FWS-T at my folks' house in Cleburne. There are plans for the two former rivals to start their perverted version of wife-swapping, with the DMN covering the Mavs and the FWS-T covering the Rangers and each other running each other's stories.

To the Internet generation, it's simply media merging. To the old, ink-stained guard, it smacks of the Cowboys pitching the keys to Valley Ranch to the Redskins. - Richie Whitt


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