Joe Vardon Departs Cleveland.com, Joins The Athletic to Cover Cavs

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Cleveland.com, which earlier this year lost some folks through voluntary buyouts and which has, in recent months, lost its meteorologist and a key member of the Columbus bureau staff, lost a big name on a big beat today.

Joe Vardon announced that after four years with the outlet, he's departing to join The Athletic Cleveland to cover the Cavs and the NBA.



It's an interesting time, to say the least, for Cleveland.com. Guild negotiations between the Plain Dealer union and parent company Advance Publications haven't really begun yet, but with the contract set to expire in February of 2019, it's only a matter of time. (It's worth remembering here that Advance created the "digital first" Cleveland.com side basically and essentially to gut and kill the union.)

Anyway, there are rumblings that Cleveland.com can't hire replacements until that all gets sorted out in February, and chances are they'll probably semi-promote from within and perhaps cut back on sending reporters on road trips this season, which, with a LeBron-less Cavs likely scraping the middle of the Eastern Conference at best, might make the decision easier than it would have been otherwise.

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