Indy Star loses another sports vet

May 30, 2008
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mckeeThe Indianapolis Star is about to lose its third sports department veteran since April.

Star Sports Editor Jim Lefko announced this week that assistant sports editor Pat McKee will depart the state’s largest daily newspaper July 3.

McKee, who has been with the Star for more than 26 years and this year was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, has become well known for his coverage of high school and women’s sports.

McKee did not return calls seeking comment, but told his Star bosses that he and his wife will be leaving Indianapolis for Ft. Myers, Fla.

McKee’s departure follows Mark Montieth’s exit last month and Tom Rietman’s retirement in April. Montieth, who most recently covered the Indiana Pacers, had been with the paper 14 years. Rietman, an assistant sports editor on the copy desk, had been with the Star 27 years.

McKee not only reported on many central Indiana high school sporting events, he coordinated other reporters and freelancers in the paper’s efforts to cover scholastic sports statewide. McKee also covered many other high-profile sports events, including the Colts move here from Baltimore in 1984.

A native of St. Louis, McKee graduated from Christian Brothers College High School and attended the University of Missouri, where he was an honors student and earned Phi Beta Kappa.

McKee arrived in Indiana in 1980 for a four-month administrative fellowship with the Indiana Pacers. He returned in January 1981 after completing college and joined the staff of the Indiana Sports Weekly, a tabloid-sized newspaper that concentrated on Indiana high school sports. He was hired a year later by The Star to work on the sports copy desk.

The Star is already adjusting its roster. Tom Brew, an Indiana University graduate who worked at the Indiana Daily Student with sports columnist Bob Kravitz, was brought in to replace Rietman. Star sports reporter Jeff Rabjohns has moved into Montieth’s slot to cover the Pacers along with Mike Wells.

While Star officials don’t yet have a replacement for McKee, they are advertising for the position, which shows a willingness to restock the sports department. Some industry insiders said Star management has been less willing to do that in other departments, instead trimming the staff by attrition.
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  • I remember Pat covering my own high school sports events dating back to the mid 1980s. It’s tough to replace that kind of institutional knowledge. Of all the Star departments, the sports has seen less turnover than the others. I guess it’s their turn to catch up. Glad to see the Star is at least trying to replace the losses.

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

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