Vikings beat writer Chip Scoggins will soon be named the Star Tribune’s next sports columnist. Management isn’t quite ready to announce the ascension, but it’s happening, according to three sources with knowledge of the promotion.
None of the current columnists is losing a gig; Scoggins will write two to three columns a week plus do “enterprise” features for the section.
Current Strib NFL writer Mark Craig will do more Vikings stories with beat writer Judd Zulgad, though Craig will still do some league stuff.
Why add another columnist? The Strib’s highest-profile opinionators all have encumbrances of some sort. Sid Hartman is a nonagenerian. Patrick Reusse is still a great read, but he’s a part-timer with officially divided loyalties; some of his best stuff ends up on the 1500 ESPN website. Jim Souhan has also chased the TV (FSN) and radio (1500 ESPN) dreams, and his columns are often more quip collections than bulldog reporting.
Scoggins is known as a story machine, and he’s expected to get more reporting into his columns. He’s covered teams other than the Twins and Vikings, so his pieces should range more broadly than local sports’ Big Two.