At the ASU-Idaho State men's basketball game at the Wells Fargo Arena that just finished a few minutes ago (Sun Devils won 90-55), we couldn't help but notice a well-lit advertisement at courtside directly across from the official scorer's table.
"East Valley Tribune--Where Local News Is First," it read.
Up in the corner press box, veteran sportswriter Jack Magruder kept the play-by-play in a little notebook, same as he's been doing for three decades. Officially, Magruder's on the Trib's payroll for another few weeks. Then, he and 141 other unlucky souls will be laid off, something they've sadly known's been coming for a few months now.
We don't know how much the well-placed sign cost the Trib, but it certainly didn't come cheaply.
On this day, Magruder was "stringing" for a paper out of Pocatello, Idaho. He can do this kind of thing in his sleep, and well.
Magruder is one of the true pros at the dying eastside paper (we also remember him fondly from his days at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson).
The irony of the Trib's sign applauding its alleged devotion to "local news" -- when it's about to terminate day-to-day coverage in Tempe, Scottsdale, and other burgs -- escaped few in the media room.
"We're all dinosaurs," said one scribe, who's probably in his 40s (hence a particularly nasty Mr. Rex above).
By the way, a sign right next to the Trib's hails the wonders of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU.
"Think Big!" it says.-- Paul Rubin