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Kubatko leaving Sun, joining MASN

It’s the end of an era — for the last three years, veteran Sun sportswriter Roch Kubatko has been entertaining Baltimoreans with his “Roch Around the Clock” blog and running commentary on Baltimore sports. Drawing more than 100,000 page views every week, Kubatko’s blog quickly became one of the most visited blogs at the Baltimore Sun and was often the most visited sports blog within its parent Tribune Co.’s newspapers.

But with The Sun’s recent overhaul of staff and content (dictated by the Tribune) and the second round of buyouts and layoffs since January, it appears as though Kubatko, who has been at the paper for 21 years, has had enough.

After taking the buyout offered companywide, Kubatko said “goodbye” in his last Sun blog posting today. Just hours later, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network announced Kubatko will be joining its team officially on Friday and bringing his popular blog to MASNsports.com. It begs the question, how difficult was it to get Sun management to let him keep his blog, title and all, to a competing news medium?

Kubatko will also appear on MASN’s O’s Xtra and Ravens Xtra, the Orioles Hot Stove Show and the Anita Marks show. During baseball season, he will also co-host several pre- and post-game shows for the Orioles Radio network.

Kubatko is just one of the more visible examples of the longtime writers who will be soon leaving The Sun due to its staff cuts and paper redesign. How big of a loss is this for The Sun and how big of a gain is this for MASN?

LIZ FARMER, Business Writer