As News and Star-Telegram More or Less Merge, a Big Sports Shake-Up

Few weeks back we mentioned that The Dallas Morning News and Star-Telegram would be doing some story-sharing in an effort to pinch a few pennies. Earlier this week, ex-News-er Jerome Weeks cited a few examples of how the papers had already started sharing copy -- though all the pieces mentioned were arts-related.

But now, some significantly bigger news: Unfair Park has learned that The News is moving its longtime Texas Rangers beat writer, Evan Grant, to the Dallas Cowboys beat. Why? Very simple: Sources say The News will no longer be covering the Texas Rangers, at least not with a beat writer. Instead, sources say, The News will, at some point, begin running the Star-Telegram's Rangers stories. And, in exchange, the Star-Telegram will carry The News' Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars stories.

Initially, sources said The News would cover the Dallas Cowboys for the Star-Telegram, but others have since squashed this rumor. The merger would, inevitably, result in layoffs -- at least seven or eight, sources say. And we're not the only ones to hear about this: One daily sports writer directs our attention to a message board thread at, where much of this has been discussed and debated since yesterday.

After the jump, what passes for The Official Word.

Bob Mong, editor of The News, couldn't be reached at his office or on his cell. Messages were also left with sports editor Garry Leavell.

But Jim Witt, executive editor at the Star-Telegram and a man who answers his own phone on the first ring, won't say whether or not the wife swap is happening. Instead, he tells Unfair Park this afternoon, "That's something I can't comment on. We've [shared] some reviews, and we've swapped a few pictures, but we're still talking about things, so I can't discuss in public any of that."

When asked when he might be able to talk in more detail, Witt says only, "We're meeting on a regular basis, but like other newspapers we're looking at ways to continue to put out a good newspaper and save money." --Robert Wilonsky