Sports writing siblings end careers with Clarion-Ledger

Published: Apr. 16, 2012 at 11:19 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM CST
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Jackson's Clarion Ledger said goodbye to two of its best known and most beloved columnists in Sunday's edition.

Brothers Rick and Bobby Cleveland wrote their final columns for the paper, ending a combined 80 years of writing sports.

Rick Cleveland, 59, is leaving 42 years of sports writing to take over the late Michael Rubenstein's job as Executive Director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.  Cleveland makes it clear the buyout he took was voluntary, but he reveals how it worked for the first time publicly.

"One year salary and one year benefits," said Cleveland.

When asked what would have happened if he hadn't accepted the buyout, he said, "Well to continue working at the Clarion Ledger, but with no guarantee of past two weeks. I mean that's all anybody has at the Clarion Ledger, these days. I want to emphasize this is not just in Jackson. This is something going on in our industry; it's not just going on in Jackson.

Cleveland has nothing but praise for the people he worked with in Jackson, but he is not so generous to the Gannett national organization.

"I do have a problem with the whole idea of corporate journalism, where one company owns 82 papers around the country, and they don't really have a stake in what goes on, and the welfare of the people of that state, or city that they serve," said Cleveland.

Cleveland says there are three things Mississippians are great at. They are writing, performing and playing sports and he treasures being able to be involved in two out of three for all these years and he wouldn't take anything for the experience.

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