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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TJ Simers conspicuously missing from LA Times sports section

TJ SimersLos Angeles Times sports section readers likely have noticed the lack of writing from T.J. Simers in recent weeks. Simers is the most notable writer on The Times’ sports staff, and his last column appeared on June 13. That’s over six weeks ago. To give you additional context, the column was about the Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks massive brawl, which seems like ages ago. Simers did have a shared byline with Mike Bresnahan on a July 5 story about Dwight Howard agreeing to a deal with the Rockets, but that’s it.

So what is going on with Simers and why haven’t his columns appeared in the paper for over a month? Word on the street is that The Times has taken issue with Simers’ involvement with Mandalay Sports Media.

Simers, you may recall, appeared in a viral video uploaded by Mandalay to YouTube on June 1. In the video, Simers moderated a free throw competition between his daughter and former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

On June 10, John Ourand of Sports Business Daily wrote that Mandalay Sports Media was developing a TV show loosely based on Simers’ life. Ourand said the company was preparing to pitch the show to broadcasting networks.

Perhaps The Times views Simers’ work with Mandalay as a conflict of interest.

A look at the timeline of events shows something is definitely up.

    June 1: Viral video for Mandalay hits YouTube
    June 10: Report says Mandalay is shopping a TV show based on Simers
    June 13: Simers’ last column appears in The Times

Simers has been working for The Times since 1990 and is one of the most prominent figures in LA sports media. The veteran writer suffered a mini-stroke in March.



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