Boston Globe columnist and ESPN contributor Bob Ryan announced this week on the BS Report with Bill Simmons that he will be retiring from full-time work after the Olympics this year. Ryan's career has spanned six decades as he began with the Globe as a beat writer for the Boston Celtics in 1969. Ryan made his name writing about basketball and the Celtics, but has also become a notable writer nationally with his appearances on several ESPN platforms including the Sports Reporters, Around the Horn, and PTI. As Ryan says though, he realizes his time is passing by (via Jim Romenesko)...
I really and truly believe that my time has come and gone, that the dynamics of the business, of what it takes to be involved in the business with all the tweeting and the blogging and that stuff, with an audience with a different taste … I’m not comfortable — it’s not me any more
According to the Globe, Ryan plans on writing part-time after the Olympics even though he is stepping aside. It's interesting (and ironic) Ryan would talk about the dynamics of the business changing and announce his retirement on a podcast with the king of the mountain of that changing landscape, Bill Simmons. Ryan's sentiment is also somewhat surprising given that he has been one of the sportswriters that seemed to be able to adapt to being a multiplatformed journalist. (You can have your own opinion as to how much the Around-The-Hornization of sportswriters has corrupted the profession.) In fact, if anything, his profile has been enhanced nationwide because of those shifting dynamics of the past 10-20 years.
I always respected Ryan's work and there is a part of me that sees Ryan, Peter Gammons, and others as hanging on to some sort of mythical Golden Era of Sportswriting... ya know, before us bloggers ruined everything. Writing about sports sure looks a lot different than it used to be in Ryan's heyday, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, there won't likely be another Bob Ryan, but hopefully the next generations of sportswriters and fans will be better served by that changing landscape that is always evolving.