It’s the end of an era. Jeremy Rutherford has announced he’s leaving the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after serving as the beat writer of the St. Louis Blues for the past 12 years.
Rutherford didn’t provide any details about what’s next (The Athletic, maybe?) and there haven’t been any official announcements from the Post-Dispatch regarding who will be the primary source for Blues news. Either way, things are changing in a big way for Blues fans.
Rutherford has been a reliable, consistent voice for the Blues for years. If he is moving on from the Blues as a whole, it’s a major loss. The Post-Dispatch will surely shift their resources to cover the gap, but it won’t be the same. There isn’t a strong secondary option who can fill Rutherford’s shoes at the Post. His dedication to the job and ability to provide the facts while maintaining an overall neutral stance will be missed. JR was a master at telling the story like it is, leaving the reader with a crystal clear picture of the topic at hand.
Looking at the situation as a whole, it’s easy to see this playing out in a negative way for the Blues. Rutherford leaving his post creates a vacancy that the Post will probably try to cover in the most affordable way possible. Coverage by committee might make the most sense. Unfortunately, that would be a mistake.
St. Louis is a two-sport town. In the late fall, the Blues are the only sport in town and deserve a ton of coverage from a multitude of voices. That hasn’t always been the case, but Rutherford has always been around to provide coverage while nearly every other writer discusses the Cardinals or continues to complain about the Rams. The blog scene has helped with what the mainstream media has missed (at least, that’s what this blog and others – such as Game Time – try to accomplish), but is it enough? The Blues need that leading voice in traditional media to represent them.
Everyone should wish JR the best and hope that he’s moving on to bigger and better things, but it’s hard not to worry about the team’s representation in sports media.