Thom Loverro: A longtime newspaperman reaches end of the journey

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Sports,Thom Loverro

Two things I know how to close down -- bars and newspapers.

The Washington Examiner is changing its format as of today, If you are holding a copy of the paper, you are holding the last one. If you are reading this online, well, you're part of the problem.

The Examiner will continue in online form, without a sports section, because, as you can see from the 75,000 people that show up at FedExField on Sundays in the fall, the 18,000 people that fill the Verizon Center in the winter and the 30,000 people who find their way to Nationals Park 82 times a year, no one really cares enough about sports to read about it.

Am I bitter? Damn right. I'm a newspaperman. It's in my DNA.

I sincerely want to thank the powers that be at The Examiner for allowing me to extend my newspaper career three more years, after my previous employer, the Washington Times, shut down its sports section. (I've heard they started it back up again, but that can't be. They would have let me know, right?)

Like Ted Baxter at a 5,000-watt radio station in Fresno, Calif., I started out at a small weekly newspaper in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, writing for 15 cents a column inch. That paper no longer exists.

Then I went to another weekly paper, where I did it all -- wrote local news, sports, edited copy, laid out pages, pasted pages up for print and dropped off bundles at local stores. That paper no longer exists.

I moved to a daily newspaper in New Jersey. That paper no longer exists. Then I went to work for a daily paper in Pennsylvania. That paper no longer exists in the form that I worked for, having merged with another paper that went out of business. You get the point.

If you see someone walking down the street, to borrow a Hoyt Axton line, with tombstones in their eyes, there's a good chance it's a newspaperman.

This isn't an obit. It's a last column, and I don't exit gracefully. Anyway, I'm not going anywhere. I've been fortunate to grab onto the lifeboat that is sports talk radio, co-hosting "The Sports Fix" noon to 2 p.m. with my partner, Kevin Sheehan, on ESPN980 radio. So you can take away my pad and pen, but you can't shut me up.

There were two things I loved as a young boy -- newspapers and radio. I would wait for my father to bring home the Daily News, and I would put my transistor radio under my pillow at night to listen to WABC. I was a child of newspapers and radio.

I'm going to keep writing, whether it is on the ESPN980 web site or other places where I can peddle my words. I am a writer.

But I'm not a newspaperman anymore.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com.

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