By Daniel Paulling
After the Associated Press laid him off in May 2012, Cliff Brunt created the website “Indy Sports Legends” to learn skills he thought he needed to continue his career.
Two years later, working for the site helped him become the AP sports reporter in Oklahoma City and allowed another of the site’s editors, Chris Goff, become the Indiana University and Purdue University beat writer at the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette.
After just writing stories as the No. 2 sports writer in Indianapolis, Brunt decided he needed to learn more skills to become a more appealing candidate. He eventually learned how to take photos and video, to post and display stories online and to manage others.
The last of those is key in his new job. Brunt managed multiple freelancers and photographers at Indy Sports Legends, things he must also do in Oklahoma. He says about 75 percent of the questions in his interview revolved around the site and that his new employer was "impressed with some of the things we were able to do.”
“It was a big, big plus,” Brunt said.
Reporters for Indy Sports Legends covered the Indiana Pacers and Indiana and Purdue basketball at one point. Goff, who graduated from Butler in 2012 with a journalism major and concentration in news editorial, offered to cover Butler basketball and also covered Indiana in his time there.
He says Brunt and the experience taught him a lot, including how to write on deadline, how to process information quickly and how to handle a beat well.
“I don’t think I would have the job I have now had I not established myself as a presence on the IU beat with Indy Sports Legends,” Goff said. “It speaks volumes to how Indy Sports Legends was viewed that I was even able to be a candidate for this job.”
His and Brunt’s jobs don’t allow them to write anymore for the site — which is now run by Butler graduate Tyler Smith — but they continue to post and edit stories. They also plan to keep the site going in an effort to provide more opportunities.
“Ultimately,” Brunt said, “I want it to be something that helps other people.”
Personnel moves across the nation:
—Bleacher Report: Hired Scott Miller as national baseball columnist
—CBS Sports: Hired Alabama Media Group enterprise writer Jon Solomon as national college football writer
—ESPN: Hired Mina Kimes as senior writer/columnist at ESPN the Magazine after she worked as features reporter at Bloomberg
—Fox Sports: Hired former Kansas City Star baseball/online editor Nicole Poell as senior editor
—Sporting News: Promoted Kami Mattioli to college basketball editor
—Sports Illustrated: Hired Mike Harris from the Washington Times to be senior editor at SI.com … hired Sports on Earth senior editor Emma Span as senior editor … hired Lindsey Applebaum, a sports assignment editor at the Washington Post, as special projects editor
—Akron Beacon Journal: Promoted Ron Ledgard from sports editor to digital director … promoted Scot Fagerstrom from deputy sports editor to sports editor
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Promoted Louisa Boardman and Jeff Maillet to deputy sports editor
—Washington Times: Promoted Marc Lancaster to sports editor
—Baltimore Sun: Hired Jon Meoli to be Baltimore Sports Blitz blogger
—Masslive: Hired Jen McCaffrey from the Cape Cod Times to be Boston pro sports reporter
—New York Times: Moved Michael Powell from Metro to Sports of the Times columnist
—Providence Journal: Hired Mark Daniels from the Boston Herald to cover the New England Patriots
—Knoxville News Sentinel: Hired Richmond Times-Dispatch sports editor Steve Trosky as assistant sports editor