Dating Chase: Oh, please — it's not what you think

Thursday, November 6, 2008 | 5:00 p.m. CST; updated 9:52 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 6, 2008
Blaire Vandiver is MU quarterback Chase Daniel's girlfriend.

COLUMBIA — Blaire Vandiver knows what you’re thinking.

Good-looking sorority girl dating the star quarterback? Not exactly original. Still, no one loathes the cliché more than Vandiver, the Delta Gamma sorority member dating one of the country’s top quarterbacks, Missouri’s Chase Daniel.

Saturday's game

Kansas State (4-5, 1-4 )
at No. 13 Missouri (7-2, 3-2)

WHEN: 6 p.m.

WHERE: Memorial Stadium



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She knows you think she likes him for his status. She knows you doubt he is faithful to her. After a year in a serious relationship, she doesn’t care what you think.

“I hear the rumors,” Vandiver said. “It gets old. The people who matter know what kind of relationship we have.” And that relationship didn't start how you might assume.

“I wanted nothing to do with him for the first three months,” she said. Vandiver, who is from Richmond, Mo., and is a year younger than Daniel, met him in June 2007 through a mutual friend.

“My roommate told me Chase Daniel was coming over, and I was like, ‘Cool. I don’t care,’” Vandiver said.

The quarterback came up to Vandiver’s room, where she was doing sit-ups on the floor.

"I wasn't wearing makeup, and I had sweats on," she recalled. “He starts showing me certain ab moves to do, and I’m like, ‘OK, this is awkward,’” she recalled.

Vandiver didn't realize he was interested in her until she got a text message: “Hey this is Chase. Nice meeting you.” He had asked her roommate for Vandiver’s phone number that night.

Over the summer, the two spent time together in a group, going to the pool or eating at Taco Bell. 

“It was never just me and him,” she said. “I wouldn’t let it be just me and him.”

Vandiver was not looking for a boyfriend at that point. She especially did not want to go out with the starting quarterback.

“I wasn’t ready for a relationship with him,” Vandiver said. “I didn’t want to be that girl dating Chase Daniel.”

Summer ended without any romance, but the two found themselves in a new products marketing course, which brought them together for projects and class work. Over the next month, Vandiver started to think that, as much as she didn’t want to be “that” girl, Daniel wasn’t really “that” guy.

“He’s down to earth,” she said. “I know it’s been said before, but he’s just a normal guy.” Vandiver said eventually “something just clicked” and they had their first date Oct. 11, 2007. The two ate dinner at CC’s City Broiler and went bowling that night. 

Vandiver looks back and laughs, teasing her boyfriend, “Hey, remember that time when I didn’t like you?”

How could he forget? He spent four months trying to persuade her to give him a chance.

“I don’t expect to be treated any different than anybody else, but she always treated me like any other guy,” Daniel said. “That’s what I liked. She’s down to earth. She’s my escape from everything.”

Daniel admits, “The chase was fun,” but he scoffs if you suggest he was only in it for the thrill of pursuit.

“I love her,” Daniel said. “And she’s definitely one of the strongest, both mentally and emotionally, girlfriends I’ve had."

Daniel's mom said her son has had unsuccessful relationships with “clingy” girls who did not appreciate Daniel’s dedication to football.

“It takes a girl that has a lot of confidence in herself to date Chase,” Vickie Daniel said.

Vandiver sits with Daniel's mom, dad and sister every week because she says they are just as emotionally invested in the game as she is.

After the Colorado game, Vandiver waited outside the locker room with Daniel’s family while the quarterback signed autographs. She wore his father’s leather jacket to keep warm as she talked to his sister and friends. 

“See, she doesn’t need to stand next to him right now,” Bill Daniel said. “She understands.”

Don't think it hasn’t taken some getting used to. Before last year, Vandiver didn't have to spend 45 minutes of her sorority semi-formal waiting for fans to stop asking her boyfriend for photos. She didn't have people mailing things to her house for her boyfriend to sign. And she didn't find out about her anniversary present from ESPN The Magazine. 

“In the beginning, I didn’t know how to act, but it comes along with the territory when you’re dating someone so high-profile,” she said, borrowing a phrase Daniel often uses in interviews. 

The territory includes their names coming up on college gossip Web sites. Vandiver recognizes the common perception of football players as, well, "players" — womanizers — but she said she has never doubted her boyfriend. Plus, between football and school, Daniel has just barely enough time for her. She laughs that you would think he's seeing anyone else.

“I don’t know when he would,” Vandiver said. “We hang out every night. When he’s not at school or playing football, he’s with me.”

Vandiver’s roommates said Daniel comes over to do homework, eat dinner or just hang out in the living room. Last week he joined them for chicken pot pie and pumpkin carving.

The couple goes out for “date night” every Sunday. One of Vandiver’s favorites was their six-month anniversary at the winery in Hermann, where Daniel rented a cottage and made grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and salad.

She said her boyfriend is a true romantic — “a real Southern boy” — who opens her doors and buys her flowers. But as much as she loves him, Vandiver doesn’t like to brag. 

Vandiver said she initially hesitated about being interviewed and photographed for this story. With Daniel’s encouragement, she agreed.

Of course, it doesn't matter what you think anyway.

“I’m not that type of girl. I don’t need to tell people I’m Chase’s girlfriend,” Vandiver said. “Chase knows I’m his girlfriend. That’s all that matters.”

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Chris Clark November 6, 2008 | 7:06 p.m.

The Missourian wonders why its circulation hit rock-bottom, businesses refuse to buy ad space and the community thinks it's a joke-- read these kinds of stories and you'll know why.

I don't care what Chase Daniel does off the field, and nobody else should. He's had numerous girlfriends since he arrived in Fall '05--what makes this one any different?

Grow up Missourian-- It's a sad day when the Maneater's stories show up on your homepage.

(Report Comment)
Tanner Tucker November 6, 2008 | 8:25 p.m.

This is journalism? Must be a slow news day.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 6, 2008 | 8:29 p.m.

Dumbest story ever. Chris, you summed it up perfectly.

(Report Comment)
Clyde Barrow November 6, 2008 | 8:35 p.m.

I can't decide if she's hot or not. Maybe it's just a bad picture.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 6, 2008 | 8:48 p.m.

I feel creepy. This is definitely not a human interest story. There must be a thin line between jounalism and voyeurism. I don't know what kind of relationship they have and I'm not a "person who matters," but "maneater" makes me feel dirty.

(Report Comment)
Taylor Reeh November 6, 2008 | 9:00 p.m.

Is this really newsworthy?

(Report Comment)
Ali Shaffer November 6, 2008 | 9:05 p.m.

No...its not the dumbest story ever.....if it was about know you wouldn't think it was your eyes....maybe...b ut obviously its not that stupid....since it made the newspaper. I dont hear much about Ayn Rand or Chirs Clark.........

(Report Comment)
Jordan Smith November 6, 2008 | 9:12 p.m.

Mr. Ray Shapiro- The Maneater is a student newspaper at Mizzou. I'm sorry you feel dirty about that?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 6, 2008 | 9:52 p.m.

The only people this story could possibly interest are bookies grasping for any insight that could affect his performance.

(Report Comment)
Ben Smith November 6, 2008 | 10:15 p.m.

I'll be honest, I think it's good. It's a story that gives a better picture of who the most public person in Columbia is.

Or were you more interested in hearing about Chase Daniel's chemistry with his receivers for the six millionth time?

(Report Comment)
Noor Azizan-Gardner November 6, 2008 | 10:20 p.m.

You have got to be kidding me with this story. This is the year 2008 people NOT 1958!

(Report Comment)
Ben Smith November 6, 2008 | 10:22 p.m.

Which means what, exactly?

(Report Comment)
Greg T. Spielberg November 6, 2008 | 10:44 p.m.

Good story, Brittany (look how many readers you got already).

(Report Comment)
Annie Meredith November 6, 2008 | 10:48 p.m.

As a former writer for the Missourian, I was disappointed at this story and slightly embarrassed. Is this 'journalism'? Well, yes, I guess so, but Good journalism? Probably not. Is this newsworthy? I feel like this should be appearing on a gossip blog or girlie magazine, but not in a publication that is teaching young journalists at the most prestigious journalism school in the nation the values and principals of being a good writer/reporter.

No offense to the reporter on this story, because it was written as well as something of this nature could be. I just think it's slamming the reputation of the newspaper to publish bogus stories like this.

It also makes her look a little foolish. I mean if she doesn't care what people think then why would she resort to doing this foolish story?

And I mean that in the nicest way possible, it just seems a bit contradictory.

(Report Comment)
Annie Meredith November 6, 2008 | 10:49 p.m.

But kudos to you, brittany, people are reading :)

(Report Comment)
Guy Incognito November 6, 2008 | 11:18 p.m.

I really liked that part where they went to Taco Bell. That was pretty interesting. And that part where he was coming over...And she didn't care that he was coming over! Can you believe it? I couldn't. Great story. I usually just read the Ad Sheet or napkins but I am really glad I decided to come to your Web site today.

(Report Comment)
Cassidy Shearrer November 6, 2008 | 11:57 p.m.

I am taken aback by the reaction to this story. I am a life-long Columbia resident who grew up around the University and its lackluster football team. I think the surge of interest in our football team made a place for a story like this in a newspaper. I found it very interesting.

(Report Comment)
Stan Burglar November 7, 2008 | 12:12 a.m.

I thought Greg Bowers was supposed to be a great sports editor, no?

Unless this is Columbia In Touch Weekly all of the sudden.

(No offense to Brittany as it was done about as well as can be, but knowing the process that stories go through at the Missourian, there is no way in heck that this should have been centerpieced on the front page of the web site, let alone approved.)

(Report Comment)
Bob Sakamano November 7, 2008 | 12:39 a.m.

This is a great story.

I skim the Missourian site daily, and I'm a diehard Tigers fan. I can't tell you the last time an article grabbed my attention and had me read all the way through the way this one did. It speaks to a personal angle of the most public person in Columbia. It's interesting. It's unique. It's done with the consent of both Chase and the girl. What's the problem?

This article grabbed me because it's the kind of thing that's NOT on ESPN or something I could find somewhere else. Those of you taking the holier-than-thou, "true journalism" approach must not be working in newspapers, because that's a recipe for death. The Missourian is supposed to be about forward thinking, and about innovation. Traditional newspaper journalism simply isn't good enough, by itself. It needs supplements, like this.

Some of you need to crawl off your journalism high horses and realize that tradition alone isn't good enough for you to survive.

(Report Comment)
Jordan Smith November 7, 2008 | 1:22 a.m.

Agreed. And FYI, this is the most read article on this site right now--and it's only been up since 5 pm.

For "such bad journalism," it's getting a lot of readership. And I mean, they're writing about her on ESPN, so the Missourian can't be doing that much wrong...

Some of you all need to relax a little--stop freaking out about the small stuff.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 6:19 a.m.

The Missourian has so few ads that there's not much room for news. And in that limited amount of space, this gets a spot over all of the other things it could and should be covering? For example, how about an article about high school student abuse of cold medicine and what parents and CPS are -- and aren't -- doing about it? If you think that's not a serious problem, talk to some counselors at Pathways.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 7, 2008 | 7:14 a.m.

Actually, the war on drugs must be working pretty well if students are left abusing antihistamines and OTC cough medicine.

I wonder how many kids still huff gasoline and cooking spray. That's REALLY dangerous.


(Report Comment)
Chris Clark November 7, 2008 | 7:19 a.m.

I want to make this clear--- Brittany did a great job writing this story, really.

My objection is this: what's the difference with this girl than the other ones Chase has had???

Twenty bucks says she knows in the newsroom, not to say it's wrong-- but SOMEONE had to come up with the idea to extort her status as Chase's gf.

If the Missourian wants to stay relevant with Columbia, it needs to stop doing campus stories. Compare front pages, the Maneater has the same "off-campus" content as the Missourian...actually more if you count all of the political coverage of the past few for thought: If you want to stay relevant in the community, report on the real stuff, not the fluff.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 7:37 a.m.

Look at KOMU. It got an Emmy for a story on teen abuse of prescription and OTC drugs (among others).

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 7, 2008 | 7:47 a.m.

Chris Clark the Man Eater is hardly updated daily as much as this site is hourly.

Not even a fair comparison.

I watch the Man Eater site as well and they really could be doing a much better job over all not only with their front page but with the site over all.

(Report Comment)
James Herring November 7, 2008 | 8:24 a.m.

I for one liked the story! In my opinion, the Missourian has always been more in touch with what goes on in the local area. If I want to know what happens across the globe at this moment, I can check the internet. But for local new I read the Missourian. I didn't know Chase had a girlfriend. And they sound like a cute couple. I also liked the way the story was written. Since the reporter works for the Missourian and has this published, how many of the previous posters can say that? There are plenty of stories that can get people upset, anything with politics comes to mind. But this is a good human interest piece. Its local. It caught my attention. It's funny, the comments are getting to be as long as the article. But I would say to the reporter and to Blaire & Chase; there will always be people who want to step on you to feel bigger. Don't let them.

(Report Comment)
Jeremy Littau November 7, 2008 | 8:45 a.m.

While I might quibble with the newsworthiness of this story, I think there are other issues here too. I know nothing about Blaire Vandiver other than the fact that she's Chase Daniel's girlfriend. Nothing about her interests, what she's studying, what her goals in life are, etc. The story is a classic "woman is newsworthy because of her man" story that makes a lot of women (and some men) cringe. Many would even call this story's take a little bit sexist because it never gets beyond Vandiver's value to the reader based on her relationship with a famous man, and I would probably agree with them. If this indeed is intended as a human interest story, I am sure Miss Vandiver has a lot of interesting things going on in her life that might be appealing to a reader wanting to get to know her better. She's been alive 20something years, and 1 year spent with Chase Daniel; surely she has other things going on that make her interesting beyond the person she's dating.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 7, 2008 | 8:48 a.m.

Wow, lots of comments on this story. I find some of the critiques really interesting.

As a former features editor, I'd like to point out that it's a human interest story. It's not particularly different from these:

As for people who complain about a lack of "news" in the Missourian, take a look at this list.

As for the commenter above who asked why the Missourian isn't covering prescription drug abuse, we do. Check out this story from 2006, far before KOMU's story that led to their well-deserved Emmy award.

For the record, our goal is to update the Missourian's Web site daily with at least 30 new items -- stories, photo galleries, news bursts, multimedia packages, etc. This has been our featured story since last night, and it's stirred quite a bit of reaction in the newsroom and on the comments thread (as you can see).

If you're annoyed or upset about the story, or if you like it, let us know. Keep commenting on this story. E-mail Or if you're here in town, stop by the newsroom today at 11 a.m. for our morning news meeting. The public is welcome and invited. It's on the third floor of Lee Hills Hall, on the corner of Eighth and Elm streets. (For that matter, stop by any weekday at 11 a.m. for the news meeting. The public is always welcome.)

Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development
The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 9:20 a.m.

Rob, there's a fundamental difference between the features you cited and this one: In this one, the only reason Blaire is profiled is because of whom she's dating, rather than for any accomplishments. In fact, as another poster pointed out, we really don't get much information about her. And this isn't some elderly couple who met in Auschwitz, survived and have enjoyed a half-century together. Those kinds of love stories are interesting and newsworthy. This one isn't.

If you were choosing stories to submit for awards, would you submit this one? And if you had written it, would you put it among the clips you submit when applying for a job?

(Report Comment)
Bob Sakamano November 7, 2008 | 9:36 a.m.

"If you were choosing stories to submit for awards, would you submit this one? And if you had written it, would you put it among the clips you submit when applying for a job?"

Absolutely, on both counts.

(Report Comment)
Edward Watson November 7, 2008 | 9:40 a.m.

I commend the Missourian and Ms. Darwell for providing this story. As Columbia's most high-profile individual, anything related to Chase Daniel is newsworthy. I have heard about Daniel's girlfriend, and even seen her on TV, but never have heard from her.
Too often the KC Star, Columbia Tribune and Post-Dispatch have too similar of coverage of the day's quotes. It is refreshing to read something new and original.

And as an alumni who has worked with Greg Bowers, his commitment to providing interesting and unique sports stories is why he is the sports editor. He knows exactly what he is doing.

It is also great to see people commenting on a story. Gee, public discourse, I can't imagine how someone might regard this as journalism!

(Report Comment)
Bob Sakamano November 7, 2008 | 9:43 a.m.

As for how this girl is different from others he's dated, is it really that hard to figure out? They've dated for over a year, and really have known each other and "courted" for about a year and a half. That was a big piece of the story. Chase has only been here three years and a couple months -- I highly doubt he's had that many year-plus relationships in that time.

As for why not the kicker's girlfriend, are you kidding? This is the most public figure in Columbia. Period. The standards are very different.

Finally, as far as other stories -- I really wish I had a print copy of this. I'll challenge you, and anyone -- I'll admit this story is useless if you can't find an AP story in the section. My guess, like every paper I've ever read, is that you will. The Missourian will ALWAYS make room for a good news story. If you don't think the Missourian is doing a good job of covering local news, this story isn't the culprit and this story has nothing to do with that.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 7, 2008 | 9:54 a.m.

Ayn, how do you feel about this story?

(Report Comment)
Andrew Bach November 7, 2008 | 9:57 a.m.

To the Author - I am a J-school grad and a lawyer in town. I read your article to the last word. I read every comment posted. That alone is a testament to what you've written. It captured my interest and obviously many others. I thought it was very well-written and added to my understanding of a notable figure in town. I do think that the idea of including more biographical information on Ms. Vandiver would have improved the effect of the story. But who knows- time and space constraints sometimes limit the inclusion of every good quote or graf.

Well Done.

(Report Comment)
Grant Venable November 7, 2008 | 10:08 a.m.

Well said Rob Weir! This is a great story by the way Brittany. It looks like a lot (a lot!) of people are just upset their name did not merit a news story.

(Report Comment)
Julie Vadnal November 7, 2008 | 10:22 a.m.

This story is fantastic. I want a Part II. Give me more!

(Report Comment)
Amber Hanneken November 7, 2008 | 10:28 a.m.

I agree with Jeremy Littau in that I feel I know nothing about her beyond that she dates Chase Daniel and doesn't like to brag about it.
I finished the story and thought, "That's it?"
Maybe this would have been better as a front-page Vox story and gotten more inches and coverage.
The photo is fabulous though.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 7, 2008 | 10:29 a.m.

It is a good human interest type of story and we really need more of these to keep everybody realizing humans are actual real people and not just numbers on a piece of paper nor data stored on as hard drive.

(Report Comment)
Melina Childers November 7, 2008 | 10:39 a.m.

I think you did a great job Brittany. I mean, look at all the comments you've received. Keep it up! Chase Daniel's romantic life obviously interests people or they wouldn't be reading or taking the time to comment.

I agree with Julie. I'd like a Part II please.

(Report Comment)
Wes C Addle November 7, 2008 | 11:00 a.m.


Well if anyone should want to know, this is the reason why I visit this site about once a week compared to the other paper in towns site (at least twice a day).....

You mean to tell me that there is nothing, not one thing that would interest everyone else rather then doing a story on the girl that has been in a one year relationship with CD?

How about doing a story on Chase's ex girl friends....maybe a "Where are they Now" type story?

(Report Comment)
John Juettner November 7, 2008 | 11:17 a.m.

Wow. Amazing. I was writing for this newspaper as recently as this past May and in my two years as a part of the paper I have never noticed a story on the website that has generated this much interest.

Think of the events that have happened in Columbia.
Barack Obama came to town just before being elected President.
The Missouri men's basketball coach quit midseason.
The Missouri football team was ranked No. 1.
Local and state elections occured.
5 Missouri men's basketball players were suspended for their role in a fight outside a nightclub.
The School of Journalism celebrated its 100th year of existence.
Chase Daniel was invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

The list goes on. And nothing got more attention that I saw than this story. I think that alone makes this story "newsworthy". It fits in perfectly with some of the factors of newsworthiness. Namely, prominence. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have numerous stories written about them. Still journalism. Still relevant.

Greg Bowers knows what he is doing. Sure, there are some holes with this story, but there are holes in every story. To me, it peeled back another layer, and it really wasn't designed to be about Vandiver, it was supposed to show another layer of Chase Daniel.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 11:31 a.m.

Rob, that story is no better, and it raises the same question as this one: Would the Missourian profile ____ if she were not married to or dating ____?

Here's the kinds of topics you should be covering: (Why didn't the Missourian's softball story about the Humane Society a few weeks ago mention that they can't produce the past five years' worth of books? Huge red flag, and something that would be of interest to taxpayers when the city and county likely will have to contribute more to the CMHS.)

And how about following up on that unsightly plywood fence in front of Shiloh? I don't see a building permit tacked to it. So was it built without one? And if so, why is it still up?

(Report Comment)
Chris Clark November 7, 2008 | 12:09 p.m.

Rob, I don't think you should be patronizing people who actually READ your newspaper.

Some people think we're attacking the writer-- Brittany, this is a well written story. I've read other stories of yours and they're absolutely solid.

I whole-heartedly agree with a previous post that this belongs on VOX's webpage...not a NEWSpaper's website... There was a homicide on Tuesday-- can you not dig a little deeper to realize there are problems in our society that should be reported on??

I think you need to ask two basic questions about this profile story: "If Blaire was not dating Chase, would she be profiled?" and "What makes this girlfriend any different than his last steady girlfriend?"

If you answered "no" to the first question-- you have your answer. If you can't explain the second question-- you have your answer too.

This is just another local outlet taking advantage of the Tigers. Ya think we would've done this to Brad Smith's steady girlfriend five years ago-- I THINK NOT!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 7, 2008 | 12:47 p.m.

>>> This is just another local outlet taking advantage of the Tigers. <<< Huh hello here we got Missouri + University + Funded News Paper + Mizzou Fan Base + School Spirit + In Depth Games Coverages + Young News Journalists Contributing Stories + More = Tigers last I looked.

I see no taking advantage of anybody by this article nor this paper by far.

If you want your own views on the news posted anybody can write those "Letters To The Editor" that we see daily being posted.

Better yet anybody can go rent a web server for around $125.00 per month with unlimited bandwidth and start your own news paper/blog/forum board web site servicing the entire area and hire your own staff. I know a great hosting company I can hook you up with too.

You can even put your own "pay by the click" web ads to get your hosting fees subsidized too.

(Report Comment)
W. Arthur Mehrhoff November 7, 2008 | 1:55 p.m.

Sometimes the ripples become more interesting than the original stone thrown into the pond. So who should decide what is a 'real story', ( and on what basis do you decide? Just curious...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 2:24 p.m.

How about a profile of Columbia's foot-fetish community?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 7, 2008 | 2:55 p.m.

W. Arthur Mehrhoff my question is why are readers crying about the stories posted here on this web site when nobody is charged a single penny to view. lol

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 7, 2008 | 3:31 p.m.

Mr. Charles Dudley Jr.-
My answer to your question is, "because my opinion is important to me..."

And in my opinion, this is the only real art...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 3:39 p.m.

Well, Charles, maybe the price represents the perceived value.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 7, 2008 | 4:04 p.m.

Oh come on ray shapiro I know you can come up with something better than that good

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 7, 2008 | 4:10 p.m.

Ismail, the J School already does a lot of that, although you sure couldn't tell by what makes it into the print edition. For example, a couple dozen students went to cover the Olympics, while others go to the school's New York City program each semester.

(Report Comment)
Sarah Richardson November 7, 2008 | 6:49 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Jake Sherlock November 8, 2008 | 7:52 a.m.

Ismail and Ayn,

Our students who went to Beijing posted some wonderful stories on the "official" Missourian blog ( as well as on their own blogs, which you can access from the blog roll on that page.

I ran a large number of their blog entries in the print Missourian on the opinion page during the Olympics. We did the same thing when some of our students had the opportunity to cover the Democratic National Convention in Denver ( Unfortunately, we weren't able to get anybody to the RNC, but we found other bloggers there who shared their thoughts, which I felt was important for balance.

If you have any constructive thoughts on how we can better promote these stories, please let me know. If you aren't comfortable leaving feedback here, please e-mail me at

(Report Comment)
Devin Benton November 8, 2008 | 12:47 p.m.

I can't determine which was more entertaining, the article itself or the sanctimonious comments about what SHOULD be in the newspaper. Maybe Ayn Rand and Mr. Clark could set up a little censor’s office at Lee Hills for us so the 'masses' will get to read much more appropriate news stories.

While I must admit, I'm not all the interested in an athlete’s romantic life, there are clearly plenty of people who are. And, as many others have said, Daniel is probably the most 'famous' person in Columbia at the moment so it's relevance is not debatable from my point of view. I know that you news purists would have rather seen another riveting City Council story or another in the long line of stories of a gritty young journalists 'speaking truth to power' but I think we can find enough room for a few of these stories as well....cyberspace is theoretically infinite right?! BTW, it’s a business too and this has probably generated more web traffic than the last 10 PedNet stories.

Finally, Ismail, if you think the Missourian should have bureaus in NY, LA, DC and, hell, Beijing, I guess you haven't read the stories that they are considering ceasing the daily print service for lack of funds. Where do you think all this money is going to come from? Another School Board story? Sorry, but unless you want to drop off a nice fat check over at Reynolds to pay for it, you might want to readjust your expectations. BTW, did you know there was a global economic meltdown happening, too?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 8, 2008 | 3:11 p.m.

Ismail Hameduddin if you want them to grow that big it takes money so go donate the money they need. It is that simple.

I think this local little paper does just fine as it is doing.

Jake and Rob both gave you their email address' so get emailing them both your in depth ideas in a nice presentational lay out or even a "Power Point" style of lay out since you are so concerned.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 8, 2008 | 9:24 p.m.

Hey Devin, guess what the Missourian's circulation is? Not even 25% of the Tribune's. Why? Because of stories such as this one.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Clark November 9, 2008 | 12:18 a.m.

1) Chase is not Columbia's best-known resident. Carl Edwards, William Least Heat-Moon, Gary Pinkel and that fraud factory that gets athletic facilities and/or academic chairs named after him would likely rank higher in any name recognition survey taken outside of Boone County.
2) Ms. Darwell's (wait a minute--I guess we're supposed to call her the implied demeaning Brittany) article is compelling, as will be the rest in her series--Edwards' most recent fiancee', Heat-Moon's Q (as in Quoz), Vicki Pinkel's transition to the West Coast.
3) Ismail: you're apparently unaware that the Christian Science Monitor, due to a lack of funds, has ceased publication as a print medium (not to mention that Christian Scientists don't refer to their gathering places as churches). But it's okay, Ismail, if Missourian reporters have a "small town attitude" since many of them will work for small market media before going on to Pulitzer
Prize-winning careers, as several have.
4) The real Ayn Rand must be spinning in her grave over the grammatical, philosophical and logical errors of the poseur who has assumed her name.
Kevin Clark (not related to Chris)(not that one, anyway)

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 9, 2008 | 11:19 a.m.

Kevin: The fact remains that the Missourian is barely an also-ran compared to the Tribune.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 9, 2008 | 12:32 p.m.

This paper is not the Tribune nor the Wall Street Journal nor any other paper.

It is a small local paper all unto it's own. Being it is a small town paper there really is no reason for any of the readership to be worrying about national news especially by those posting here since obviously there are a million other news sources at your finger tips.

I think the owners,editors and reporters of this paper are doing a fine job.

If somebody does not like that then maybe you should go take journalism classes and get a job at the Missourian to help change that instead of posting here crying about it.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 9, 2008 | 2:38 p.m.

@Charles Dudley: Actually, I forgot to give my e-mail address above, but I'm happy to do so. It's Additionally, I'm in room 207, Lee Hills Hall, at the corner of Eighth and Elm streets, if anyone wants to visit or to e-mail us thoughts or comments.

@Ayn: The Missourian's circulation is actually about half of the Columbia Daily Tribune's -- we distribute about 6,500 papers M-F. They're closer to 13,000 or 14,000 if I remember correctly. The print circulation of both is far smaller, of course, than our online readership.

Very interesting comments above from several posters on the Missourian's mission. I'd like to repeat my previous invitation for anyone to visit our newsroom -- we have a daily news planning meeting at 11 a.m., and a second slightly smaller news meeting at 3 p.m. The public is welcome at either.

Again, our newsroom is on the third floor of Lee Hills Hall, at the corner of Eighth and Elm streets.
Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development
The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 9, 2008 | 3:07 p.m.

Great Rob and I hope we can keep in touch.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 6:40 a.m.

Rob, the Tribune's daily circulation is 19,106 and 24,065 on Sundays. (Source: Dan Potter said the Missourian's paid circulation is 1,200: Citing free copies to hotels to goose that up to 6,000 is laughable.

And how are you monetizing your online readership? There are hardly any ads on this site.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 10, 2008 | 8:36 a.m.

@Ayn: The Missourian's paid M-F circulation is 6,306. That's verified by an independent auditing bureau. Our home delivery makes up about a quarter of that; the rest is paid circulation distributed in newsstands, newspaper racks, on MU's campus and in other city locations. We don't count "free copies to hotels" as paid circulation, though we do distribute a small number of copies to hotels and other places. And we distribute around 40,000 copies of the weekend Missourian for free on Saturdays.

Montetizing online readership is a challenge that the entire industry is facing. Currently, and for the forseeable future, most of the Missourian's revenue is coming from print. (That's true for most, if not all, daily newspapers in the U.S.)

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 9:06 a.m.

So why did Dan say 1,200? And if he was misquoted, why hasn't the Missourian asked E&P for a correction? Considering how widely read E&P is at the J School, I find it hard to believe that no one has questioned that article by now.

At any rate, 6,306 is not even one-third the Tribune's circulation.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 10, 2008 | 9:35 a.m.

Nobody here cares what the Tribune circulation is. This is the Missourian and as such they do their own thing and unless you actually hold stock in their company,all of these people crying is so much smoke blowing into the wind.

Great job Missourian staff keep up the great work and ignore the "Negative Nellies" who obviously have nothing better to do than try to bring you down to their own level of thinking.

This paper is just fine as it is.

To the complainers: If you do not like it nobody says you have to read it. If you want change then get a job with this paper and show them your stuff.

(Report Comment)
Mizzou Mom November 10, 2008 | 9:58 a.m.

While I thought this was a "cute" article, does it really count as newsworthy to be such a large front page, above the fold article?? Also, I think she came across as the TYPICAL girl dating star athlete. What do we know about Blaire herself? Her whole identity in this article was as Chase's girlfriend! We know she is a jr. sorority girl, who does sit ups, is from Richmond, MO and she shacks up in a cottage for the weekend with her boyfriend(Does she really want the whole world to know that?)! Poor girl. She may THINK she is different, but this article proves she really is "just" Chase's girlfriend. Maybe it should have been a features story, or on the sports page. But Front page? PLEASE!

(Report Comment)
Mo Scarpelli November 10, 2008 | 10:24 a.m.

This story teaches readers nothing about either Daniel or Vandiver. NOTHING.

In fact, it's highly contradictory. It's supposed to show that Vandiver doesn't depend on Daniel, isn't "just a girlfriend"... but then everything about her in the article is about Daniel and her relationship with him. You never get any idea of who she is independent of him beside the same old (tired) claim that she doesn't care what people think.

If you're going to run a story on a "celebrity" girlfriend, at least teach people something about her. This article had a STAR/US Weekly quality. It's disappointing.

Also, when you measure a story's success by how much traffic it generates, you're putting your newsroom on par with Fox News (the more clicks or views, the better, no matter what the content). Here's a test: print something outrageous. You'll get hundreds of clicks. But does that make it "newsworthy"? Come on, we should have standards.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 11:19 a.m.

Charles, circulation is a HUGE issue. A newspaper with a low circulation has difficulty attracting advertisers. Case in point: the Missourian, which has been in the red for the past few years.

Most businesses have a limited ad budget, so they're usually going to spend it on the outlet that gives them the most reach. The exception is niche plays such as the Columbia Business Times, where the attraction is being able to get your message in front of a small but coveted audience.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 10, 2008 | 11:41 a.m.

Well it seems the majority here disagree with you and being this is a tiny paper that is used mainly in training future journalists for the bigger world of the media outlets this paoer in all reality is doing fine.

If you do not like it you can always go apply for a job with them being you have so much time to devote to bashing them here so get up to their office,fill out an application and go help make a difference instead of bashing them here in postings only.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 10, 2008 | 11:56 a.m.

@Ayn: As I said in my previous post, our total paid circulation is 6,306. Home delivery is a subset of that.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 11:56 a.m.

Chuck, do you even understand publishing and advertising fundamentals such as CPM? If not, don't waste time and bandwidth by posting about business issues that you do not understand.

I agree that the Missourian does a good job of training journalists. But MU and the state are increasingly unwilling to fund a venture that is losing more and more money. Hence the discussions about options such as merging with the Tribune.

Do you subscribe to the Missourian? If not, why not? If the answer is, "Because I can read it for free online," then we're getting into another problem (not just for the Missourian, but for most papers): the inability to monetize online audiences. Just look at the paucity of ads on this site.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 10, 2008 | 12:06 p.m.

Ayn Rand I am not the one here crying about it but you are.

As Rob told you that you can email him at any time you like with your issues. You can even go create a fake/alternate email account since you refuse to use your real name here for any or all accountability.

Go join them for their staff meetings as he also suggested.

Do something besides tying up the front page with your ranting and raving over an issue that it is obvious you are only willing to complain about.

(Report Comment)
Mizzou Mom November 10, 2008 | 12:08 p.m.

I think the article itself was well written, although the title didn't quite fit what was said in the article. Also, it is not writer's choice where the article is placed. Whatever editor decided it was lead story material should not be allowed to graduate with a journalism degree(or have their degree revoked!).

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 12:10 p.m.

Chuck, you're a fine one to complain about ranting and raving. Pot, meet kettle.

And Charles, I worked at the Missourian as a student, so been there, done that. You don't even know what CPM stands for, let alone what it means and why it's so important. So stick to what you know and let the professionals debate this topic.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

Rob, are you saying that the Missourian sells five rack copies for every home delivery copy? Even major-market dailies don't have that ratio.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock November 10, 2008 | 12:24 p.m.


Thanks a lot for your kind words about the Missourian. We always appreciate the compliments.

And Ayn, thank you for your feedback as well. You may not be our biggest fan, but we do appreciate you sharing your thoughts. While I personally believe the Missourian has done a lot to be proud of, we don't always serve our readers as well as we could. Giving us feedback on how to be a better news organization and training ground for aspiring journalists is essential to our missions.

Again, thank you both for your feedback on this story. I look forward to hearing more from both of you in the future.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 10, 2008 | 12:28 p.m.

Jake said it well -- this thread has certainly given us a lot of feedback. However, a few posts are in danger of veering into areas that violate our comments policy. You can read the whole thing here ( but the key idea to keep in mind is to respect other users and avoid personal attacks.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 10, 2008 | 3:56 p.m.

I agree Rob Weir with the we can do with out the personal attacks on this site as that is why I emailed my last letter to Jake in formal protest of one person continually doing so when they know my email address and can bring their arguments there instead of here.

Ayn Rand why don't you just go back to work for them if you know how to fix their program or have the better idea as you claim? That is not attacking you by far but it seems by your posts you do know more than they do or you claim too anyway.

Enough of this dragging threads off track. If the editors continue to allow it this front page will be no better than a common thrash and bash blog.

This original story was a good one and I hope we see more like it in the future. This city is about human beings and not just about a bunch of numbers stored in some computer data base.

Let's see more human interest stories in the future IMHO.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 4:09 p.m.

Jake, my biggest concern about the Missourian these days at that I have to hear or read anything from the editors or faculty acknowledging the core problem: Why aren't more people reading the Missourian? It's great that they're looking for JVs and other cost-saving opportunities, but ultimately it boils down to the fact that people who buy a local paper choose the Tribune by a 3:1 margin. The Missourian should be kicking ass because it's run by people who are considered -- nationally and internationally -- to be some of the best in the business. But that expertise is not reflected in the final product, and that's a shame.

The Missourian also should be looking at KOMU. Granted, they've got NBC programming -- some of it highly rated -- to draw audiences. But those audiences see value in the newscasts themselves because they stick around instead of tuning to KMIZ or KRCG. So when it comes to news, what is KOMU doing right, and can the Missourian apply any of that?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 10, 2008 | 4:19 p.m.

BTW, the Star just laid off another 50 people, some of them marquee names: A newspaper cannot downsize its way to the top.

(Report Comment)
Brian Ash November 11, 2008 | 11:50 a.m.

Two comments:

1) The amount of interest this story has generated proves it's newsworthy and was a good move. More interest = more readers = more potential ad revenue

2) All the people scoffing at this story need to lighten up. You're in the minority and that doesn't mean you're smarter than everyone else. It just means you're outnumbered.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 11, 2008 | 12:01 p.m.

Outnumbered as in three people buying the Tribune for every one who buys the Missourian? Keep running fluff like this, and that ratio will climb even higher.

(Report Comment)
K K November 11, 2008 | 2:55 p.m.

ayn rand... for someone who spits out as much distaste towards the Missourian under a false name makes me really wonder just who you are...

especially with the amount of knowledge in regards to newspapers, as well as the constant comparison of the Missourian with the Tribune. my guess is that you work for the Tribune or something along those lines... which in my opinion is that it's quite sad for you to have to "bash" your opponent by writing comments on STUDENTS stories.

I think you are quite disrespectful of the newspaper that's entire purpose is to train journalists.... yes there are mistakes that happen, but this is only one story out of many.... it just simply put was a bad issue. can u honestly say that the Tribune has NEVER EVER printed a bad issue, or bad stories....

again I say.. the Missourian is supposed to be a place for mistakes for students, and in the long run of things, their are plenty more POSITIVE and GREAT things that the Missourian has accomplished than mistakes or negative things.

I think that you should stop the constant negativity towards a great teaching paper that delievers great stories and is a very community friendly publication.
I for one read the Missourian every day and will not stop doing so, just because I disagree with one story.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 11, 2008 | 3:08 p.m.

Give it up, KK. I worked for both the Tribune and Missourian, but I now work for neither.

You need to understand the difference between bashing and constructive criticism. Perhaps you're a Missourian editor and/or on the newspaper faculty, and I hit too close to the mark with my suggestion that editors and management need to consider the core problem of why so few people read the Missourian.

You also need to understand that most people who buy or subscribe to a newspaper do so based on what it provides for them rather than what it provides for its staff.

And when did I post that the Tribune is perfect? I didn't. I simply noted that by a 3:1 margin, newspaper readers choose the Tribune over the Missourian. Again, the Missourian needs to think about why that is.

(Report Comment)
K K November 11, 2008 | 4:18 p.m.

I have nothing to "give up" because i only made one comment after reading the MANY comments from you.

And for your information I am a journalism student here at the University of Missouri, and it is offensive for you to be comparing a student learning newspaper to a newspaper with professionals all around that have years of experience all together...

as far as your 3:1 margin also, isnt that only in delivery distribution. I know that on campus, students much rather read the Missourian over the Tribune. 1. because it's their peers writing about it and 2. it usually is more relevant and speaks to the variety of student interest as well as involving community issues. In fact, i used to work in the Student Government with the readership program and I can personally tell you that the readership numbers for the Missourian were always higher than those of the Tribune.

What this comment board to me seems to be turning into is just a silly debate in which a certain person just wants to vent at the Missourian for whatever reason.

Both the Tribune and the Missourian are great newspapers and should be respecting each other.

I agree that the Missourian printed a story in a position in which it shouldn't, but that is no reason to start "bashing" or "constructive criticism" (I'll let the readers of this comment board pick which one they believe it to be) in which nothing will be resolved from.

I agree with Charles, if you are so upset about how the Missourian is running its own business, and you think you know how to make their business better, then why don't you get a job there and make the difference yourself.... as Ghandi said it best "be the change you wish to see in the world." and in your case you can start with the Missourian.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 11, 2008 | 4:28 p.m.

K K very well presented but I fear it just falls on deaf ears only bent on hyper focusing to the point that nobody elses opinions here ever matter,even those who work at the Missourian daily who have plainly commented on this issue.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 11, 2008 | 4:48 p.m.

KK, as I posted earlier, "The Missourian should be kicking ass because it's run by people who are considered -- nationally and internationally -- to be some of the best in the business." That's one reason why you shouldn't be offended when I compare "a student learning newspaper to a newspaper with professionals all around that have years of experience all together." The Missourian has plenty of pros among its editors, and it's a shame when they allow stories such as this wind up on the front page, above the fold.

Another reason: The Missourian has always tried to compete with the Tribune rather than with The Maneater.

This isn't a silly debate. Just the opposite: It's about the future of the Missourian.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock November 11, 2008 | 5:02 p.m.


You wrote: "You need to understand the difference between bashing and constructive criticism. Perhaps you're a Missourian editor and/or on the newspaper faculty, and I hit too close to the mark with my suggestion that editors and management need to consider the core problem of why so few people read the Missourian."

I assure you, we've had lengthy conversations about what we can do to boost readership, as well as tried many, many projects. I don't know what it was like at the Missourian in your day, but in today's newsroom we talk daily about how we can get more people to read the Missourian.

We talk about it when we're deciding what to cover and how to cover it (narrative? video? photo? audio? all of the above?). We discuss and study the latest trends to make our news more accessible than to just those who want to get it on their front lawn. We try different experiments to see what readers like and what they don't.

In comparison to overall print circulation, we're not in the Trib's league -- you're right. So what is this "core problem" in your view? Just too many lighter stories?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 11, 2008 | 5:18 p.m.

Lighter stories is one problem. Stories with too many holes in them is another. That's where it's key to have a lot of editors who have been in this community for several years, at least. Someone who arrived just a few months earlier to do his or her M.A. or Ph.D. and is now editing a beat will lack the historical knowledge and contacts that are often key for covering a topic.

Do more enterprise pieces along the lines of the drug abuse one you cited above. I'd argue that this is one of the Tribune's weak spots these days.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 11, 2008 | 5:23 p.m.

No newspaper gets every single detail in the print before it gets to press.

That is just the way that it is and that is also why you do follow up stories.

(Report Comment)
Justin Myers November 11, 2008 | 7:17 p.m.

Okay, _now_ it's getting a little personal.

As a former reporter for the Missourian (who's still got some time left before graduation to go back), I take at least a little bit of offense to people bringing in the fact that Missourian staffers are students--not because it's false or somehow demeaning, but because it's being used as an excuse. Unfortunately, I saw some staffers themselves do the same--but as I understood it while working there (and as I know most of the others around me did), that didn't at all relieve us from fulfilling our responsibilities to the public (which all of you have already discussed at length).

As for papers' individual missions: There's no disputing that the Tribune and The Maneater have considerably different audiences and missions in mind, but I'd be hard-pressed to say that either is any less of a paper than the other--which is the general vibe I'm getting from some of these posts. (Admittedly, I'm far from neutral here--I work at The Maneater--but that's beside the point right now.)

Though the Missourian is operated to some extent (okay, to a large extent) within the context of a set of university courses, its objective (as I understand it) is to be _much_ more like the Tribune in its focus than The Maneater. It's supposed to be a _community_ paper, not a _student_ paper (the latter implying much more of a campus-oriented focus, which again I don't consider to be inherently bad--just different). (Incidentally, this is also why I have serious concerns about some of the things I've heard about the Missourian's future distribution plans--but that's a whole different can of worms.)

Regarding the article itself, I agree with others here that it seems to define her as simply Chase's girlfriend as opposed to a person in her own right--and if someone had asked me to look it over while I was at the Missourian, I would have definitely said so. A month or two ago, we noticed a large spike in's traffic based on search queries for Blaire's name, apparently related to an article we ran back in 2006 about her previous work as a model (see That said, that still didn't make it noteworthy enough in our minds to assign an article like this one--but I also acknowledge that different editorial boards value articles differently. That's their prerogative. (I still wouldn't have put it as the centerpiece, but that again is solely my opinion.)

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 11, 2008 | 9:27 p.m.

Let's debate the fundamental question: Why do so few people read the print Missourian? Is it the limited number of stories? (Keep in mind that the number of ads determines the size of the news hole. So this is a vicious cycle: Lose readers, and you lose ads, which means your news hole shrinks even more.) Is it the quality of coverage? Something else?

Looking for ways to cut costs is fine but not if it distracts from the reasons why revenue declined to this point.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 14, 2008 | 3:04 p.m.

In case anyone's still checking on posts here, executive editor Tom Warhover addressed this story in his weekly column. It's live on our site now and will be in the Weekend Missourian on Saturday.

(Report Comment)

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