Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist-turned blogger Bob Smizik is reporting that Mike Prisuta has resigned from the Tribune-Review. Smizik informs that Mike Prisuta gave no reason for his resignation, but confirmed that Priusta will continue to cover the Steelers in his capacity as sports director for WDVE.
Leading Voice of Firm Opinion and Thorough Commentary
Mike Priusta has long been a leading “voice” at the Tribune-Review. For years and years he has offered in-depth commentary on the Steelers. In fact, when the Tribune-Review launched its paid subscription “Steelers Live” site a number of years ago yours truly ponied up for the sole purpose of reading Priusta.
Priusta pulled no punches and made no bones about taking unpopular positions. When Kordell Stewart parted ways with the Steelers, Pruista plainly stated that Stewart’s best play as a Steeler had come in his 71 yard touchdown reception against the Cincinnati Bengals in during November 1995.
While his assessment of Kordell enjoys ample of company in Steelers Nation, Priusta also publicly began calling for the Steelers to jettison Jerome Bettis as early as 2003. Steel Curtain Rising did not yet exist or we certainly would have taken issue with him then, but we respect Priusta for standing his ground even as Bettis came within a hair of becoming a 1000 yard rusher in relief of Duce Stanely in 2004.
“Voice” Less Frequently “Heard” by Readers Recently
Although Steel Curtain Rising has kept no numbers of any sort, in the last two years or it seems like Priusta has published fewer and fewer columns in the Tribune-Review.
If our perception is correct, he follows in the footsteps of other famed sports print-journalists who move on to broadcast or on-line media. The Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon and former Washington Post columnist Tony Korenhieser provide two prominent examples.
Caught in the Newspaper Crunch?
Another possibility is that Pruista has been the latest journalist to be squeezed by the newspaper crunch. Even before the current recession newspapers in general were feeling the pinch as circulation declines and advertisers dollars flow on-line or elsewhere. Specifically Tribune-Review’s struggle for profitability has been well documented. It seems like the quantity, although not the quality, of coverage on their main Steelers news page has declined in this year.
Smizik’s reporting makes clear that Prusita is resigning, but a resignation could still be tied to financial troubles at the paper. Steel Curtain Rising has no inside information, so is only speculation.
Regardless of the reason for his departure, Steel Curtain Rising will miss Mike Pruista.