Editor’s Note: Update: Steve Reed has kept his same twitter profile (@carolinagrowl) but changed the name to @SteveReed_AP So if you already follow @CarolinaGrowl you’re good but if not, you need to get on the @SteveReed_AP bandwagon!
Charlotte Bobcats original reporting has been a little weak over the years. There has basically been a block of 3 beat reporters for the team and that’s about it. One of those? Umm, not fully committed, if you ask me. But I won’t name names because he’s a nice guy and it’s not his fault he works for a paper in a neighboring county and is asked to cover division 2 college sports and high school sports. It has always been Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Mike Cranston of the Associated Press, who covered other things as well, but took on the Bobcats as a priority and Richard Walker of the Gaston Gazette. Well, Mike Cranston is gone, and the other two don’t have twitter accounts, so who fills the void? I think we’re about to find out.
Ricky B. as I like to call him seemed a little aloof for years, his writing was accepted because he was THE NBA guy for the Observer forever. He covered the Hornets for years, if not from the beginning. You know those basic info books you used to look at during library time in elementary school? Rick Bonnell wrote the one on the Hornets. He’s picked up his game in the last season or so. I haven’t made fun of him in a while and it’s not only because I’ve all but quit reading his stuff, he’s actually gotten better. He’s not on twitter as far as I know. No one retweets his stuff anyway or gets involved in his conversations, if there is some feed that he’s part of.
I’m not going to spend much time on Mike Cranston, because there isn’t much to know. Dude was great with the AP. His articles were well written and he always seemed to have a good sense of what fans of the team wanted to know. He was so, so, solid on twitter. It was incredible the information that came from his handle that everyone in this blogging community picked up and ran with. I have always done my best to give him credit, but like his work with the Associated Press, it was so ubiquitous that sometimes I might have assumed that the reader knew or it was so ingrained in my head as original knowledge, I might have overlooked Mike. I’ve always thought it would suck to be a great writer and work for the Associated Press. Your stuff, that you busted ass on, that is a product of your years of fine tuning your craft and your own personal flair, your stuff gets picked up by every single media outlet that pays AP whatever it costs a year, and often your name isn’t even attached.
It was really bizarre. Right after the draft, with questions about the league and the draft picks and a new GM, just a little after he filed a story about Bismack Biyombo’s status (which I’m sure took some serious work with phone calls to Spain and wherever Biyombo’s agent is, plus the language barrier), Cranston’s twitter feed dried up. I think there was a tweet, it’s not there anymore, but I think he responded to someone saying “I’m OK,” and that was it. I talked to some of the media guys that I knew and the story I heard was, he walked into the office one day, left his phone and his laptop and no one has heard from him again. Mike Solarte of News 14 Carolina sent him a note on twitter not long ago that simply said:
He just disappeared sort of. I wouldn’t guess or anything, it’s that weird. There was an opening for his position not long after, as tweeted by the AP writer covering NASCAR, Jenna Fryer. Well, as of today, we know it’s been filled.
Steve Reed, previously of the Gaston Gazette and the website he created under the newspaper’s ownership CarolinaGrowl.com will be the new Associated Press writer for the Charlotte Area sports. He’ll be covering UNCC, The Charlotte Bobcats, Carolina Panthers, golf, NASCAR and whatever else happens around Charlotte that’s important in sports.
He’s written a really nice goodbye in the Gazette and at CarolinaGrowl.com. He’s the only guy who has covered every single Panthers game since inception, which is really cool. He’s taken to the whole “web” thing and twitter like few in his field, especially in the Charlotte area, ever have before. He said that in the beginning, there were 14 papers covering the Panthers and now there are 2?! Can you believe that? Reed was there from the beginning, and he’ll be there for the foreseeable future, at least for home games.
So, Reed steps in with extensive experience in running a blog and writing for a paper and running a twitter account. Will he be as good as Mike Cranston as it relates to the Charlotte Bobcats and all of the fans, we’ll have to wait and see. Whenever he gets his new twitter account going, it will be a must-follow for all fans in the Charlotte area and beyond that want to follow our team.