I was reminded of The Curse of the Olympic Corr yesterday, when The Guardian included Matthew Beard on a list of those being culled from the London Evening Standard - estimates suggest that between 14 and 20 staff must go.
Beard had long been a sports reporter, working on sports news for The Independent and then, in the run-up to 2012, as the London evening paper's Olympics editor.
Once the Olympic circus had packed up its bags and left town, Beard was re-assigned on the news desk to handle an infrastructure brief (his contacts with the likes of London 2012 CEO Paul Deighton were well-respected), and more recently he took on the role as the Standard's transport editor. So his axing in a week of London fare rises and commuter chaos at the city's railway terminals seems particularly ill-judged by his former management.
Beard had good reason to think that by moving into non-sports news after the Olympics, he'd manage to prolong his career. But the Curse of the Olympic Corr seems to stretch very far.
The job of the sports news correspondent - which for many metamorphosed into Olympics reporter in 2005 when London won its bid to host the Games - ought to be a key role within any news organisation, providing a link between sports and news desks for those stories which transfer from back to front pages. Ched Evans and the clusterfuck that the Professional Footballers' Association's Gordon Taylor created this week being a case in point.
whether sports news corrs have ever achieved that objective is a moot point - and something for another day, perhaps.
Below is just an off-the-top-of-the-head list, and I apologise in advance to anyone I may have omitted or who is gamely still in there, slugging away at their job. Do post a comment to advise of others who might be added.
The number of decent, competent and even award-winning journalists who appear to have been discarded, rather than redeployed by their employers, is an astonishing indictment of the state of our business.
Matthew Beard, Evening Standard. As above
Jacquelin Magnay, Telegraph. Was woefully under-utilised by the paper, possibly the result of being appointed by one head of sport (David Bond, see below) and not to the taste of his successor. Magnay been recruited from Australia, where she had been winning awards for hard-edged journalism from before the 2000 Sydney Games. Now working as a London correspondent for range of Aussie outlets.
Paul Kelso, Telegraph. Was the paper's chief sports reporter until 2013. Now working as sports correspondent at Sky News. Some may regard this as career progress.
Robin Ellis-Scott, Independent. One of a round of job cuts made by the paper since 2012.
Colin Bateman, Express. At his 60th birthday last year, took retirement, after 35 years working at Standard and then Express, including as cricket correspondent. Had taken on Olympic gig as final career challenge, and worked through to last February's Sochi Winter Games. Has now left journalism.
Ashling O'Connor, The Times. Had been recruited from FT specifically to do sports and Olympic news. Did some freelancing for the Indy post-Olympics, but has now left journalism to work for the Inzito Partnership.
David Bond, BBC. Was the BBC's sports editor, having been recruited when Telegraph's sports editor. Has now left journalism to work in PR.
Malcolm Folley, Mail on Sunday. Long-standing features writer, specialising in tennis but also a veteran of many Olympics. Retired last year soon after covering the Sochi Winter Games. Had plans to write some sports biographies.
Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Mail. Took on the Mail's athletics and Olympic briefs before the London Games, where he acquired reputation for hard-nosed approach - getting banned by UK Athletics for asking US-based team captain to sing God Save the Queen has got to deserve a gold star. Once the London Olympics were over, swiftly moved back to covering F1 at the Mail.
Adrian Warner, BBC London. Former Reuters and Standard sports news specialist with very strong sports politics contacts, was made redundant by regional BBC last year, despite having taken on a broader sports brief. Has now left journalism.
Ian Chadband, Telegraph. Sports feature writer with extensive Olympic sport contacts, one of the victims of last year's round of redundancies at Victoria.
Simon Hart, Telegraph. Former deputy sports editor on Sunday Telegraph, had been Telegraph's athletics correspondent for almost a decade. Has now left journalism.
There is an association for specialist Olympic correspondents. Can't help but think they'll notice a drop in their subscription income this year...