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Football preview is around the corner, and with staffs busting at the seams....

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by doggieseatdoggies, May 27, 2009.

  1. doggieseatdoggies

    doggieseatdoggies New Member

    I know we'll all be scrambling to find something to keep everyone busy...

    Whoa! That flying pig almost hit me!

    Anyway, I actually don't care about our preview. We've got a two-person staff, no photographer anymore that we can call our own, 20 schools and a stringer budget that will get killed. Furloughs plus vacations will kill us going into August.

    Mark my words, APSE won't get this one. I can't see how the hell it will be worth a crap so awards aren't a motivation.

    I'm thinking about telling advertising to cut it to eight pages from 16. They don't sell it well anyway (it's like a month before it prints when they're coming up with ideas for us when we've been on the job since June and they didn't have time to meet with us then) and do what the majors are already doing: a countdown from Aug. 1 of each of the districts (well in our cases, teams) and then do a 10-questions for the upcoming season...or with there generally being no hope in newsrooms or with the world these days, 10 reasons to hope for good things coming out of football this year.

    At this point, having just made it through the spring with furloughs, I'm ready to do anything quick, anything cheap and as they say, get 'er done. Hasn't the business made me a happy camper?

    Any ideas? Or any motivation seminars?
  2. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    If you are short-staffed, then I would definitely drop it to 8 pages and do the daily/weekly approach leading up to the season. It is easier to spread the work out that way, though you may get some bitching from readers.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I'm surprised that anyone even does special sections anymore.
  4. dargan

    dargan Active Member

    Not only has our preview special section done well in recent years, it's done so well that we started a weekly special section for all 11 regular-season weeks last year.

    Lot of extra work, but after the rave reviews it got last year, I don't see us discontinuing it. Five-person staff with about 40 schools, so our ratio is a bit more tolerable than y'all's, doggies.
  5. bmm

    bmm Member

    Our newspaper here in Podunk actually has scores of special sections during the year. In sports, we put out a 14-page spring sports section, a 26-page football section, a 20-page basketball section. Heck, we also added a 14-page fall sports preview for sports other than football a few years back. The paper I help has a sports editor and two stringers with a limited stringing budget, so it is kind of straining. Our previews aren't very good.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I never questioned the quality of the work. I am just surprised that advertising can sell anything. Didn't happen the last couple of places where I worked.
  7. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Please, not yet!

    I've been roped into helping design the "Progress" sections for our shortstaffed newsroom. :p
  8. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    I've been roped into helping design the "Progress" sections for our shortstaffed newsroom.


    My condolences. Progress editions suck.
  9. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    They sell ads.
  10. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Shouldn't this be in the Journalism Topics? It's a good subject point and probably would get a lot more attention there.

    Anyway, fortunately, we do still have a football tab upcoming at the end of the work. I've been trying to desperately stray from our standard rankings/team previews/two double trucks that we've done the last two years, but it's hard when you have no clue how much space you'll have.

    Last year our tab was 24 pages (we cover seven local high schools and three area programs) so I'm anxious to see what we'll have this time around, though we did have more than enough for our little league tab.
  11. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I'm going into the "fall preview" tab (because I cover a small area) with the new publisher on vacation, the new ME going on vacation after him, and the new ad director having never worked with a sports tab before.

    Oh, and, in addition to the aforementioned Progress sections that are now out of the way, it looks like they want my "expertiese" in the redesign that's supposed to happen soon, despite no meetings of any sort.

    All this with no raise, no bonus, no money (cough, cough) to replace the outdated, old and breaking down computers on our desks, all while the new publisher enjoys a nearly doubled salary.

    The inmates are running the asylum.
  12. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    Ugh. How does the publisher justify a big raise for himself while his people get nothing?
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