Deadspin had this weeks ago, but SBB seems to confirm: Jay Mariotti is going to the Chicago Tribune.
Jay, what happened to all that talk about AOL being the future? About newspapers being in trouble?
In the end, I suspect that Jay didn't believe any of it, that his move to AOL was as cynical as it was self-serving and that he was lured back by the dwindling (but still very much perceived) cachet of the newspaper brand.
I have no doubt that the Trib will put Mariotti to work on its ChicagoNow.com product -- online, the Trib has been getting beat by ESPNChicago.com.
But I suspect they will find out what AOL found out: In the relative meritocracy of online media, Mariotti simply wasn't worth the money. I wonder what kind of page views he will drive.
I also suspect that Mariotti will keep his daily TV gig with Around the Horn -- you know, the one job that Mariotti REALLY cares about.
I'll bet the Tribune even thinks that Mariotti's focus on TV will even help their newspaper brand. (Let's ask ESPNChicago, which can deploy Mariotti TV clips on their site.)