The news broke early today that Robin Miller was called into the front offices of the Indianapolis Star and, according to Miller's interview on TV, he presented his usual "disrespectful and insubordinate" side to his management superiors. He said that he had always been that way and had no intention to change.
The apparent result was that Miller was given his walking papers. His work was dropped front pages of the Star website.
Miller has been a well read reporter for his racing work at the Star for almost thirty years. The Star gave him the forum and the power to exert an influence that few other papers would have allowed him. The Star was merged into the Gannett Empire in August of last year. According to Miller he was the victim of a "witch hunt."
At the heart of the matter was his caustic, highly critical attitude toward the management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A critic on the Star's website put it this way: "What you Robin lovers don't seem to realize is that Robin wasn't simply opposed to the IRNLS or its philosophy--he tried to destroy it. Negative opinions we could take, but his vendetta and futile attempts to influence open-wheel racing completely violated all journalistic ethics." Miller excerised the same attitude toward CART and it's administration.
In an article by John Masson dated 11 January, 2001, the Indianapolis Star's management cited "the confidentiality of personnel decisions" and would not say more than Miller was gone.
Managing Editor Calvin said, "The only thing that I can say is, Robin Miller is no longer employed at The Star. It is a confidential personnel matter, and we don't comment on personnel matters." Many Star forum readers expressed concern about future race coverage in the newspaper. Other commentators see an increasingly apparent de-emphasis on motorsports.
Tim Wheatley, assistant managing editor for sports, said, "We're going to replace Robin with a top-quality auto racing reporter." Our commitment to racing coverage has not changed. . . . It's something we want to continue to own."
The secretary of The Newspaper Guild, John O'Neill, said he expects to file a grievance on Thursday. He described the meeting between Miller and news paper brass as "brief and perfunctory."
Miller has been unavailable for comment after his television interview
By Len Ashburn - Motorsport.com/Prodigy Forums