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Tough times

August 7, 2009 - John Mehno

Hal McCoy got the word from his newspaper that he won't be covering the Cincinnati Reds any more.

The costs of full-time coverage don't add up any longer for the Dayton Daily News, so Hal will not cover the Reds the way he has since 1974. Those of us in the newspaper business have been dealing with bad news for some time now, but the news that Hal is leaving the beat packs a pretty good wallop.

He's been a constant on the beat since the Big Red Machine days, a hard worker who never seemed to mind the travel or the crazy hours. He stayed on the beat even after a rare illness robbed him of much of his sight. Hal figured out how to keep up with the play and file stories using an extra large font on his computer. Losing much of his vision was just another adjustment to make, just like giving up his cigars when press boxes went non-smoking.

Looks like this one has thrown Hal for a loop, though. In typical Hal fashion, he's putting the best spin on it, but you can tell he's hurt. It's doubtful the paper will reconsider, but maybe there's another outlet for a guy with Hal's insights and perspective. If he's not writing about the Reds somewhere, it's like a data bank has closed down.

Here's his farewell announcement:

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