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Kravitz leaves Indy Star for job with WTHR

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After 14 years as the Indianapolis Star’s sports columnist and most recognized personality, Bob Kravitz resigned Thursday shortly after 3:30 p.m. to take a job with WTHR-TV Channel 13.

Even Kravitz seemed a bit stunned by the evolution of his career, describing himself—with a chuckle—as “dazed and confused,” when reached by IBJ.

“This was completely out of the blue,” he said about an hour after he turned in his resignation with the Star. WTHR General Manager Larry Delia confirmed the hire to IBJ.

“Bob’s reputation and unique insight into Indiana sports at all levels will be a vital addition to our sports department, both online and on-air. We're very pleased he's making the move,” Delia said.

Kravitz's resignation comes just days after Star management announced a pending 15-percent cutback in newsroom personnel, but Kravitz’s job there seemed secure, said a source within the newsroom.

“I’m not running away from newspapers and I’m certainly not running away from the Star,” said Kravitz, 54. “I’m running toward a new opportunity. I just thought it was a good time in my career to try something new and different and join a great company.”

Ronnie Ramos, the Star's managing editor of digital and sports, said in a statement that the newspaper will launch a national search for a new sports columnist.

"We are disappointed to see Bob leave, but realize the Star's stature as the top media outlet and strong commitment to grow and promote our talented staff will prompt competitors to come after some of our people," he said.

At WTHR, Kravitz said he will be writing four or five pieces—either in the form of a column or blog post—each week for the station’s website. What’s less clear is what his on-air role will be at central Indiana’s top-rated news station.

“I’m not a TV guy. I don’t have a six-pack or [WTHR sports anchor] Dave Calabro’s hair,” Kravitz said. “I don’t think they want me to be on the air too often. I will offer commentary from time to time. The whole TV part of it is up in the air. [WTHR management] is still figuring that out.”

WTHR approached him earlier this month about joining the station, Kravitz said, and when the job offer was formalized, he said he agonized over the decision.

“I certainly wasn’t looking at Monster.com,” Kravitz said. “This decision is absolutely zero reflection on the Star.”

He added that he was saddened Thursday afternoon by the realization that he had written his last column for the paper. Kravitz could start for WTHR as early as Saturday, he said.

“I agonized over this decision for days and days,” he said. “I grew up in newspapers. I bleed ink. It’s the only thing I’ve ever known. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that in the end I didn’t feel I could turn down.”

Kravitz is a graduate of Indiana University, and worked at Sports Illustrated, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Denver's Rocky Mountain News before joining the Star in 2000. He's been honored with numerous Associated Press Sports Editors national top 10 columnist awards.

In addition to writing for WTHR.com, Kravitz will provide commentary on professional, college and high school sports on newscasts. He also will be part of other station sports programming, including the recently announced “Pat McAfee Show,” as well as additional projects in the works.
 

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  • What about Bob?
    Now he can cover the ICE in his own perspective...awesome
  • Good for Kravitz
    Good for him. The Indy Star is garbage. So happy I cancelled my subscription.
  • Kravitz
    Although, I wish Bob good luck on his new venture, it saddens me to witness another nail added to the coffin for print journalism. I, for one, regret the fact that computers do no necessarily lead to progress. I would rather get my sports news from a full-size, multi-sections, Sunday morning newspaper, with a cup of coffee next to me, than from a computer monitor. Fine, call me old fashioned.
  • Good for him
    Not sure what people didn't understand about Kravitz, but the Star certainly isn't improved by this, regardless of the fact that Bob did occasionally stir the pot deliberately, and could be accused of "reaching" for a story a few times...he was trying to help the Star sell papers, and he did...a good writer, a thoughtful guy...anyone in his position who was doing their job correctly would likely write something once in a while that you don't agree with...I didn't always agree with him, but I didn't skip over his articles because of that...loss for the Star, which is on life support anyway, and good for Bob...happy to see him get a good opportunity...maybe he'll be on air more than he thinks...
  • LOL
    This comment literally made me LOL.... "Soon even caged birds will refuse to have the waste of newsprint covering the floor of the cage."
  • Kravitz
    What don't/didn't you like about Kravitz? Please explain.
  • Kravitz
    What don't/didn't you like about Kravitz? Please explain.
  • Not unprecedented
    While Bob Kravitz' move from the state's largest newspaper to TV is new for us in Indiana, this is not a new phenomenon for journalism. Our neighbors to the south in Louisville saw two of the Courier-Journal's top sports columnists (another Gannett paper) move to city's top TV station. They write for the station's web site and appear on camera to talk about college basketball. It was a winning strategy for the station, creating new revenue for their web site as well as appealing to viewers. Smart move by Kravitz.
  • Robin Miller
    Bring back Robin!
  • Kravitz
    No pun intended but Bob sees the writing on the wall. It's only a matter time before the Star becomes a totally online edition. This is a newspaper that is moving out of a building that they were in for 100 years and going into a former department store. Well at least they can go shopping after work.
  • Bob
    Print is dead
  • More To Come
    As SOON as Gannett made the announcement, the employees started to head for the door. Now, with the fact that 8 will no longer be the CBS affiliate in the market, bet more 'tapes and resumes' will be making their way to 'other' stations. Yep...what a 'shocker' this was...
  • Every person for themselves...
    A sinking ship? It's a small boat that's already sunk. The intelligent (not necessarily the best) employees at the Gannett outpost have seen the herd culling and know there will be more with the mother ship restructuring. What was a halfway decent paper pre-Gannett is spiraling into descending levels of mediocrity. Soon even caged birds will refuse to have the waste of newsprint covering the floor of the cage. Honest to Goodness Indiana.
  • Shock Jock
    Won't miss his attempts to write controversial articles to sell papers. I always rolled my eyes and skipped right over his stories.
    • Kravitz
      The Star is a second rate news rag. Expense cutting along with quality and content. Not much going for it.
    • Really....WOW !
      Congrats Bob and I'm as confused as you. It's definitely outside the Box. I have loved your work from the day you arrived. Best part of the paper. Will continue to be a fan if I can find you. Good luck. Ok now you can talk with your daughter about taking risks in life with credibility. I do wish you the very best.
    • A loss for the Star
      @HarveyF - how wrong you are. A person doesn't have to agree with Bob Kravitz all the time (I didn't) to realize that he is astute, a good writer, and had a good columnist's ability to identify issues, take a position, write interestingly and entertainingly about it, and stir the pot a little. The Star will be challenged to replace him. I would like to see Phil Richards' role be increased - there's another thoughtful, skillful writer.
    • Finally
      The Star's sports department just improved!
      • Congratulations!
        I enjoyed reading your column in Indy Star. You are one of the best sports writers I know. Best of luck at WTHR!
      • Finally
        Finally, we get a Hockey guy into our media mix! Perhaps we will even see coverage of the NHL..let alone the Fuel... Congrats Bob!
      • Congrats
        Great opportunity, Bob!! I understand your fondness for newspapers, but as Rick alluded to, print is dying. Go in with an open mind and you'll do great.
      • Wow
        Major league coup by WTHR. There's a reason they are the best in Indy, they think outside the box.
      • Kravitz
        Always smart not to stay on a sinking ship...

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