The Wisconsin State Journal didn't exactly kick Green Bay Packers beat reporter Jason Wilde out the door, but longtime fans may be sore that it didn't do enough to keep him. After 13 years with the paper, 10 as full-time Packers beat reporter, Wilde accepted a voluntary buyout and this week went to work for Good Karma Broadcasting, which owns Madison ESPN affiliate 100.5 FM.
"They had a [party] for the people who took the buyout last Thursday, and I was in Nashville covering the Packers," Wilde says with a chuckle. "So I didn't get to attend my own going-away party."
Wilde has appeared on various Good Karma radio shows over the last five years, and had discussed the idea of moving on with Good Karma president Craig Karmazin. In his new gig, Wilde will be doing much of what he did before, covering the Packers on air and online. Part of the goal is to develop Good Karma's websites: ESPNMadison.com, ESPNMilwaukee.com and ESPNWisconsin.com. (In Chicago, he notes, ESPNChicago.com "has become more popular than the Chicago Tribune's online sports section.")
Wilde says moving to a new medium at a time when newspapers are contracting is exciting. But he's already experienced the downside.
"I've done a one-on-one with the head coach for the last 10 years, and yesterday the PR director said that we don't have enough penetration to merit me having a sit-down with McCarthy," he says. "That was the first indication of hey, you're not a newspaper guy anymore."