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Jerry Sullivan Strikes Back With A VENGEANCE, Slams The BN, The Pegulas, and some of the Buffalo fanbase
BuffaloRush posted a topic in The Stadium WallFolks, the first part of this podcast is probably the most compelling interview I've heard for quite a while. It's from Pat Moran's Moranalytics podcasts and his guest is former Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan. Say what you will about Sully, but he doesn't crawl up in a ball and pretend to be Mr. Nice Guy. He also doesn't fabricate a fake phony picture of why he left either or share disingenuous positive words for the BN, Instead he gives his honest take about a number of subject - in particular his falling out with the Buffalo News. I'll share some highlights but trust me, this is a surprisingly unfiltered interview from one of the most outspoken members of the Buffalo media. IMO he comes off a passionate writer who loves sports and feels that fans deserve unbiased, honest sports coverage, even if it means reading views that they might not personally share. Of course, this is just Sully's opinion I am sure there are two sides to this story. I would be interested to hear from @JoshBarnett as Jerry mentions him by name a few times. I can paraphrase what he said. It's from my memory earlier today so you will want to listen for yourself. On being "negative" He said he has a reputation for being negative but reminded listeners the the covered the longest drought in sports history. The Bills put consistently put out an inferior product and he was holding them accountable for the fans. He also said the role of a columnist, is to sometimes be an extremist in their views and amplify their thoughts to to generate conversation. He'd later go on to saying that Jeremy White and Mike Schopp do this brilliant on radio. While he says he always held the Bills accountable, there were many very positive articles during the 90's Super Bowl run. Why Jerry left the Buffalo News: Jerry says he accepted a buyout from the BN. He was not fired and he did not retire. He then shares exactly what happened, from his perspective anyway. He said that he was told by management that they were taking away his column and to be a feature writer. He said years ago the ideal job for any writer was a columnist position. He held this job for years at the BN and taking it was an insult. The same happened to Bucky Gleason who was asked to cover the Sabres beat. Jerry considered staying, but once Bucky decided to leave he knew he had to leave to. He felt too disrespected to work for a company that did that to him. To him, taking away his column was essentially a giant slap in the face. The downfall of the BN and The Buffalo Blitz Basically he says the BN has gone downhill fast and its disappointing. They now feature front page articles from journalists right out of college, as opposed to featuring exceptional and experienced writers. He also says that the role of a "columnist" is diminished in the modern print landscape. - He claims that editor Mike Connolly hired Josh Barnett to be the Executive Sports Editor over former Sports Editor Keith McShea who Sully feels was the better choice. According to Sully, people were not on board with the Barnett hire and the Sports room became a less than desirable place. He said that many people in sports were unhappy for a variety of reasons. - Rather than trying to promote hard-hitting, in-depth, analysis of the Bills and Sabres, he feels that management wanted a watered-down, safe, sanitized product which he feels insults the intelligence sports fans. - He cites The Buffalo Blitz - which he refers to as a "fan site, "as one of the biggest flops that crippled the sports department and the paper. Sully claims that Connolly promised advertisers that it would reach 100,000 readers. The actual number was closer to around 3,000. Sully believes that management did not want him or Bucky writing columns that were critical or controversial. He claimed that they sent out a survey to a fans asking why didn't subscribe. A small number said they didn't subscribe because of Sully and Bucky, so now they had the data to support their personal beliefs and essentially he was a scapegoat. Sully feels that these moves cater to the "lowest common denominator of fans." He also talks about: - The influence of The Pegulas may have made on his column getting taken away - Tim Graham vs. Mike Harrington - The Athletic vs. Buffalo News - His new site Football Maven - Buffalo news vs. WGR - Why he has low expectations for the Bills Listen and let me hear your thoughts!