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A la carte?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FreddiePatek, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Alrighty, folks. Some of you out there know who I am but I need this to be as anonymous as possible, so let's say I have a "friend" whose paper is considering this.

    So, the publisher at said paper is kicking the tires on the notion of expanding the sports section, roughly increasing its space by 33-50 percent (without adding resources, of course ... who does that, right?) but offering the section "a la carte." That is, no longer having the sports section as a part of the basic subscription. If you want sports with your paper, it would cost extra.

    Now, I could go on for days offering my opinion, but I wanted to get everyone else's unvarnished thoughts. You know ... to help my "friend" figure out how to speak to his publisher on this subject. There's another idea this publisher has happened upon, but I'll save that for later.

    Thoughts, SportsJournalists.commers?
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I think it's worth a shot.
  3. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    I honestly don't see how that would work.

    What is this publisher's opinion of the sports section/sports in general?
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I want the whole package, not just a section.
  5. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    The publisher is the Sphinx. No one has any true idea what the publisher thinks of anyone or anything in the paper (not just sports). I'll say this for the sports staff: It's solid, with a perfect mix of vets and young folks. Two staffers took first and second in the state's sports feature contest and one won the gamer category. The SE has his share of APSEs. Very solid design IMHO. The emphasis remains on enterprise despite a massive reduction in space. This publisher recently cut the space so drastically that there were days when almost no wire made the section. One thing I can say is the publisher really doesn't have a feel for why there's interest in a sports section (I'm not offering that in a mean-spirited way; It's just the impression. We all know there are a lot of non-sports newspaper folks with the same issue).

    Part of the reason behind the publisher's idea to go a la carte was the resulting outcry from the public over the lack of wire copy in the section.

    I guess at this point I'll reveal the other idea the publisher is mulling: Moving all local sports to the "metro" or "local" news section while either eliminating the wire sports or offering it in a small, a la carte wire sports section.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Anybody ask the delivery people what they think of this idea?
  7. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Might not be a problem. The paper will be spending a large amount of money modernizing the entire operation, from press to front-end system.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Somebody's still got drop it on your porch - or in your bushes - how the hell do they keep track of which house gets which paper?
  9. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    That's one part I really think hasn't been thought out all that well. Carriers don't make enough money to be the ones dealing with that headache. Yet, it's already being done with some of the niche products, so maybe it has been figured out.
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member


    This publisher is a complete dunderhead and needs to read this: http://cronkite.asu.edu/mcguireblog/?p=134<blockquote>Sports should be the centerpiece of newspaper efforts to rejuvenate themselves. . . . I have always believed sports is central to building community, which most newspapers say is the key task. Sports may also be the major link to mass for a lot of newspapers too.

    Now is the time to boost sports coverage for newspapers, not shrink it or put it behind pay walls. I do think the proposed alliance by several regional newspapers is great idea and I am thrilled my favorite sports editor, Glen Crevier, is at the center of it. That alliance can allow newspapers to avoid duplication on events like the Masters. The real future of local sports for a newspaper like The Star Tribune lies in covering the Vikings, Twins and even the lowly Timberwolves better than any current or future competitor.</blockquote>Sports sells papers. Period.
  11. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I see big, big problems with this plan, Freddie.

    Besides the circulation nightmare others mentioned, how would this work with advertisers? You would have two different circulation numbers now -- one for the full newspaper, and one for the sports-less version.

    And the idea of putting local sports reporting in among the local metro news is really f'd up. It would be like throwing wedding and engagement announcements among the police blotter items. You know, it's all local content!

    If there's some way this can produce more news hole in sports (and more revenue for "your friend's" paper), great, but I'm not seeing it.
  12. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    You could do this online, easily. Would be a bit harder with print, but it's not the worst idea I've heard this week.
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