The Star and the Pacers

Dateline: Wed 22 Oct 2014

Who really cares if Gannett's Indy Star publisher Karen Ferguson and the Pacers' president Rick Fuson are an item?

Rumors began to float more than a month ago that the former Karen Crotchfelt was going through a divorce -- and (afterthought)  was romantically involved with Fuson, who was named president for the Pacers organization at the end of September. Fuson is also divorced. 

None of my business, really. 

Except in how Pacers' coverage might play out on the Star's sports pages. Or, since sports is big business, elsewhere in the newspaper.

Not being a sports fan, or a cheerleader, I'm unsure what to make of the Star's big "Save The Date" promotion, linking the newspaper and the basketball team together for a "pregame Block Party on Georgia Street" Oct. 29.

This shindig has been advertised twice now; the notice appeared most recently as a full-page color spread Tuesday on Page A9, complete with a Gary Varvel cartoon of many of the newspaper's leading lights mingling with some Pacer stars.

At some levels, the Ferguson/Fuson union makes sense. Ferguson sits on a lot of big downtown boards, as does Fuson, whose late dad was Wayne Fuson, sports editor for the News. But of course the two dynamos would know one another.

So none of us high-minded types gives a damn, but we are amused by reports, for instance, that Ms. Ferguson tweeted in the first week of October that it took her only 30 seconds to get from the Star's new HQ in the old Nordstrom building to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the Pacers play.

Amusement may turn more reflective if conflict of interest issues arise. Others have pointed out that, in the past, the newspaper has had problems with reporters who may be a bit too close to sources.

And I personally find it off-putting when the newspaper turns itself into a pimp for any sort of merry-making. Better to stick with the basics -- report the damn news. 

But for now, let sleeping publishers and Pacers' brass lie. 

(File the following link under the heading: It must be true -- why else would there be so damn many photos since nobody gives a shit?)


Unimpressed [unverified] said:

Congratulations. You really blew the lid off of nookie.

2014-10-22 19:21:51

FowlerUSMC [Member] said:


2014-10-22 19:32:21

Gary Welsh [unverified] said:

I had an interesting exchange with Bob Kravitz over the Star's incestuous relationship with Pacers' management back when he was still with the newspaper. He was very defensive at any suggestion that he or the newspaper had any relationship with the Pacers' management that influenced their coverage of the team. He pleaded ignorance about the all-expense paid trip the Pacers provide to various media and corporate types every year to exclusive resorts, complete with a bunch of gifts.

I noticed when I went to a game last year when someone gave me a free ticket that Varvel was sitting in some pretty sweet tickets courtside. Not sure if those were comped tickets or tickets he purchased. The red carpet is rolled out by the Pacers to certain media folks, civic leaders and elected officials. Some of them get all of the free tickets, food and drink they want. Most of the rest of us can't afford to go to a game without giving up something else we enjoy. We just get to foot the tab with that additional tax we all pay every time we eat or go for drinks somewhere, or buy a ticket to one of the events that's got a steep admissions tax tacked on to it.

2014-10-22 19:53:40

Newsworthy? [unverified] said:

To quote Ms. Ruth, "who cares". Looks like journalism has hit a new paradigm.

2014-10-23 08:27:23

hendy [Member] said:

I wish I were aghast or even surprised. I get a thick Herald Times in Bloomington, then look on the newsstand here in Bloomington at the Sunday Star, which has visited Weight Watchers far, far too frequently.

Soon The Star will be housed in a Zillow foreclosure house on the SouthSide once Gannett has milked it of any remaining character, a few blessed souls aside.

There is little critical nature left of this publication. I'm kind of glad that two souls have found each other, but ethical distancing is an oxymoron in Indiana at most levels.

2014-10-23 10:32:53

Pat [unverified] said:

Hi mates, nice article and nice arguments commented at this place,
I am truly enjoying by these.

2014-10-27 09:22:03

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