The New York Daily News is being gutted by owner Mort Zuckerman after no one stepped up to buy the tabloid. The paper, most famous for its 1970s headline “Ford To City: Drop Dead,” is now saying as much to its sports department. The News laid off veteran baseball writer Bill Madden along with Wayne Coffey, Filip Bondy, Hank Gola and others. Mike Lupica is the most well-known writer at the paper, covering sports there since Reggie Jackson was the straw that stirred the Yankees drink — in other words, 1977. He’s expected to be set free also. Lupica was also let go from his ESPN radio gig recently.
What’s the future for a ink-stained veteran writer like Lupica? Could he, like another popular New York newspaper man — Nate Silver, formerly of the New York Times — make a go of it in the all-digital realm? Nate Silver left the Times at the height of his fame, having used data like tea leaves to predict Mitt Romney’s electoral ineptitude. Silver went independent with his FiveThirtyEight property, which expanded from politics to cover all manner of pop culture — most especially sports, where the thirst for data and predictions is insatiable. Lupica has jumped genres too, moving from sports to politics. He’s written for plenty of magazines and banged out some books. Let go from the Daily News, is Lupica a good fit for Nate Silver? Lupica’s column is subtitled “Shooting From the Lip” — it’s full of brio and opinion. Silver’s work might be called “shooting from the chip” — it’s data-driven, mostly. Nate Silver is 37. Mike Lupica is 63.