Stewart has covered the sports side of TV and radio in Los Angeles since 1973, first for the Herald Examiner and lately in the Times. After today he's moving full-time to the horse racing beat, and Christine Daniels will write a column called Sound and Vision in his place starting next Friday. Stewart writes in his farewell column:
One might say I'm being put out to pasture. But I don't see it that way. It's a new chapter in my life, and I'm off and running.
One thing I'll be happy about is not dealing with the hundreds of press releases that fill my e-mail inbox every day. Sports television has become a huge business. When I started out on the beat, there were three networks televising sports. Now there are too many to count, including all those specialty channels -- the Golf Channel, the Tennis Channel, Speed and on and on....
As is the case with much of corporate America, the bottom line -- and with television that means excessive self-promotion -- became the end all. And much of the fun part of the business, which includes writing about it, was never the same.
Here's I guess a web version of the column in which Stewart gushes about making close friends among the people he supposedly covers and admits that meeting "such legends as Vin Scully, Chick Hearn (and his wife Marge), Dick Enberg, KeithJackson, Curt Gowdy, Bob Miller, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels, John Madden, Jim Nantz and too many others to mention has been a dream come true..."
Meanwhile, the Times youth movement continues. The new Clippers reporter in Sports is a 2005 graduate of USC. Memo from Sports Editor Randy Harvey follows:
To: The Staff
From: Randy Harvey, Sports Editor
When Jonathan Abrams graduated from Metpro training in the summer of 2006 to Metro in the Inland Empire, he asked what he would need to do in order to eventually become a baseball reporter at The Times.
He was told to learn Spanish.
He immediately enrolled in a Spanish class.
I am happy to report that Jonathan has successfully completed his first semester of Spanish and moved on to a second.
I'm also happy to report that he has been hired by the Sports Department, though not at this point to cover baseball. Jonathan will begin with the start of the new NBA season to cover the Clippers.
Jonathan, an Upland native and a 2005 USC graduate, worked for The Times for 18 months as an intern and Metpro trainee before going to the Inland Empire. He has had several front page features and news stories, including coverage of wildfires and dust storms, good training for the Clipper beat.
We welcome Jonathan to the Sports staff.