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Big Doings in Dallas

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

  2. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    This story is more than 3 years old

    ... and still enlighening.

    Not much has changed.
  3. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about the situation there, but it seems to me like the S-T has a decision to make if the rumors in Dallas are true. The paper could probably get away with scaling back. But the aggressor in me says it would be the perfect situation to move into Dallas and really compete. If I was in charge I'd be tempted to go as far as changing the name of the paper and getting rid of the Fort Worth. Maybe call it the Texas Star-Telegram and add the slogan "The metroplex's best newspaper".

    Of course I don't know shit, so that might not be the way to go at all. I just like to see papers be aggressive that way instead of aggressively cutting back.
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I totally do not disagree with you, Jake. But like in many other endeavors, you pick your battles. Which company has the deeper pockets, Belo or McClatchy?

    I could totally post some politically incorrect analogies to what the latter could do to the former.
  5. 85bears

    85bears Member

    With the way this business works, there is no way in hell that the FWST looks at this as some sort of huge opportunity. Sports barely nudges circulation figures. Some would argue it doesn't do so at all, and show you numbers to prove it.

    So why would the FWST start pouring money into its sports section? To show it has a longer schlong, metaphorically speaking? Because it ain't gonna get a return on the investment where it counts - dollars and cents?

    I believe in good sports sections as much as anyone, but I also know how bean counters think.
  6. Moondoggy

    Moondoggy Member

    Reading these posts, it seems obvious what is happening here: Newspapers' last battleground will be with local news. A lot of "mid-major" papers have known that for a while now, but now the reality of local has snapped up one of biggies. Most of the beats affected on this seem to be national stuff, which is sexy to write but probably of little use to most readers. Folks just have too many other ways to gather that information.

    On the other hand, the local newspaper still remains the primary source of news for the local teams (yes, including preps). It's that way for now, anyway, unless readers turn to speciality outlets for their interests (web sites, blogs, etc). It's interesting to imagine where the business will be in 5 years or so, but I can't tell you where it won't be - you'll see fewer and fewer papers bothering to staff big national events (the World Series springs to mind) because it costs too much and returns too little.

    At this point, my motto has become a simple one: Keep paying me.
  7. 85bears

    85bears Member

    No shit. I'm getting to the age, late 20s, where it's time to decide if I want to stay in this long term or if I want to a field with greater stability. It's a scary time. I don't want to stick with this, then get laid off at 36 or 37 when it might be too late to take a couple of years to learn a new trade.
  8. Let's make a list of the other businesses that, in tight financial times, opt to provide customers (readers in this case), with less product and hope they continue to buy it like they did before.
    The one edge we have is depth of analysis on last night's game. That doesn't necessarily mean more shot charts and graphics, though they should be a part of it. More, it means analysis, perspective, the view from one player's vantage point, or what it means tomorrow or next week.
    ESPN and the others get to that in the World Series, Finals, etc, but it's up to the local papers to do that 24/7, 365.
    Blogs, podcasts, streaming video, all that is cool, but if the daily grind is reduced to scrubbede clean AP stories with no adjoining depth (sidebars, notes, columns), what they are really saying is that they don't know what to do, but for starters, let's save as much money as possible.
    Run up the white flag, boys, you've quit.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Those who say sports doesn't sell papers are wrong, or lying because that sounds better than "sports is so expensive". At the Herald, a September with the Red Sox in contention averaged 10 percent higher circulation than one without. The October, 28,2004 Herald sold 1 million copies for a paper with 240,000 daily circulation. That's only because they couldn't print any more, too. By contrast, 9/11 circulation went up about 25 percent.
    As for local news being the paper's province, well, the Globe has notably localized its front page and news coverage in the past year, and its circulation has dropped like a brick.
    Newspaper customers are like customers for anything else. They want, above all, MORE for their money. They're also not idiots, so when they get less instead, they stop buying. The DMN will find that out soon enough.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    This is a brilliant post.
  11. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    I don't understand why some would think sports doesn't drive Dallas. In fact, when Dave Smith took over the paper put tremendous resources into two sections: sports and business. The belief was, those readers brought in the most dough through subscriptions and ads. The system worked and is the main reason why Dallas became the force that it is.

    What I don't understand is, if you're going to offer your content on the web, who is going to provide it? Are they just saying AP and wire is enough on national stuff? And if the point of all this (if it's true) is to go local, since when are the Rangers, Aggies and Horns not considered local?
  12. Hoops, for an ACC guy, you are amazingly tuned in to Big 12 geography. ;D
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