Popular local sports writers Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford appear to be the latest in a steady stream of defectors from Louisville’s Courier-Journal newspaper staff. The local Fox affiliate, WDRB-41 announced late today that the two writers will be joining the sports reporting team at that television station.
Terry Boyd, over at InsiderLouisville.com, broke the story earlier today, with an unconfirmed rumor that Bozich and Crawford were “in discussions” with the television station. He couldn’t get any of the principals—including WDRB station manager Bill Lamb—to confirm the rumor on the record, but he quoted a “sports insider” as saying, “Bozich is a superstar... And Crawford is too. They’re the two most popular columnists left at the CJ.” Even if people don’t agree with them, they read Bozich and Crawford, he said. “No one with any interest in sports ignores these guys.” Boyd called the impending defection “…the biggest CJ story since Pat Forde left years ago to join ESPN.” Forde now is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
The television station confirmed the rumor on its website at 7:05 Monday evening: “WDRB is happy to announce that sports journalists Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford are joining WDRB Sports. Bozich and Crawford have a combined 50 years experience covering sports in the Louisville area. They are leaving the Courier-Journal and can be read and seen exclusively on WDRB.com and WDRB News.” "This is an ongoing effort to make WDRB the leader in news, weather and sports information," said WDRB Vice President and Director of News Barry Fulmer.
Five minutes later, the Courier-Journal confirmed the move: “Columnists Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford are leaving The Courier-Journal to take positions at television station WDRB.” In the website article, C-J executive editor Benny Ivory said, “I’d like to thank them for their years of service and wish them all the best in the future.” Ivory said that he plans to fill both positions.
This news comes fast on the heels of the raging battle between television stations WDRB and WMYO, and Time Warner Cable, which recently purchased Louisville’s Insight Cable operations. Since the expiration of the contract between the stations and the cable company expired at midnight last Friday, WDRB and WMYO have been blacked out on Time Warner Cable.