The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away

Well it looks as though my time as a Cal reporter may be over.  I was let go from the team about a week ago.  I was told it was because of financial constraints and that there was a distinct possibility that they’ll bring me back on staff come football season, particularly if subscriptions to the site continue to rise (so please don’t dump your subscription to get back at them :) ).

While I’m definitely interested in the opportunity to get back on staff, I’m not that optimistic it’ll come true.  While I’m sure there was truth in the reason I was given, I also suspect there was more to it.  The publisher was always editing my articles more than I felt comfortable with (from the perspective of how he viewed the quality of my work) and because I don’t live in Berkeley my ability to follow leads not related to games or major press conferences was not that of other members on the staff.

The good news is that the material impact of this on me and my family is negligible.  I had always budgeted the income as “fun money” and the last paycheck I’ll receive will just about cover all of my expenditures I made for the job, including traveling to games like the USC game and the Holiday bowl in addition to the nice digital SLR camera and other equipment that I get to keep.  In fact, it is probably good news for my family because the strain of a second job was not trivial and to be honest the Bears games were not as fun to attend when I had the stress of both helping my wife taking care of my two toddler aged boys and making sure I was following every niche of the game as a reporter.

So where do I go from here?

I didn’t post about this right away because I wanted to spend some time reflecting on what my next move was.  Over the last week I have pondered opening my own Cal news site like Rivals or Scout, offering my services to one of the many news organizations in the area that might be interested in inexpensive reporter coverage of the Bears, just taking the effort that went into reporting and focus it on improving the blog, as well as a number of other alternatives.

I haven’t come to any conclusions yet.

I’m definitely still interesting in doing reporter work (and if you’re a publisher/editor who would be interested in my services please drop me a line at jobs AT  The reality is that I despite the compromises it took, I very much enjoyed the work.  That said, I’ve pretty much decided not to heavily pursue that avenue at this point and will let that job come to me if it is indeed meant to be.

I definitely intend on putting what effort I don’t put into a reporter job into improving the quality of the blog.  The reality is that this blog was a lot better before I got the reporter job in part because of frequently I posted and in part because of the quality of my posts.  In fact, it was the quality of the blog that got me the job.  Ever since I got the reporter job, the amount of effort I was able to put into the blog suffered both in quality and quantity.  I never felt comfortable providing the same analysis on the blog that I had already provided in an article that was only available to Rivals subscribers.  In addition, I just didn’t have the time to post frequently.  Without those limitations, expect to see the amount of Cal posting rise to the levels I had early in the 2006 season and 2005 season.  In fact, as I already posted, I have some improvements in the works and now expect to “double-down” on those.

Finally, amongst all of that pondering, another road for me to take hit me like a lightning bolt.  Since it is not Cal related I will put it in another post, one that will only be on the main portion of the blog (note to cal blog readers: click the link on the sidebar for ‘Main Blog Page’).

3 Responses to “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”

  1. Seth Says:

    Not to worry Ken, something even better will come up. Put your trust in the Lord. Besides, you are a pretty young guy. This was just one step in your journey of life. (Sorry, did I sound like a hippie there?)

  2. Seth Says:

    So any results on what the new name will be for this blog? I am still waiting with great anticipation for the announcement of the new name. I really think the “Only a miracle can save the Bears” is the best given the current situation with the tree sitters. Keep us informed on your thinking. Is there any one name you are leaning towards?

  3. Ken Crawford Says:

    Thanks Seth. The nice thing about hobby jobs is that it’s all for fun and the stress levels are a lot lower.

    As for the blog name, there are still some question marks. I’d guess it’s either going to be “Excuse me for my voice” or “Only a miracle can save the bears” (or OAMCSTB).