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Gary Bettman: hero to all of us?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Twoback, May 7, 2009.

  1. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    NHL commish Gary Bettman, from Wednesday's Wall Street Journal forum of the big four commishes:

    On newspaper sports coverage:

    I think the important thing for newspapers, going forward, is they have to have content, columnists, stories, features that you can't get anywhere else. And without that, if they're just going to do wire stories of the games, then there's not going be a future. Because we can all do that as well and faster than they can.

    Yeah, who'd a thunk it? The man knows the newspaper biz better than most people who own one.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    He knows newspapers better than he knows hockey!
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    "There's not going to be a future." For newspapers? Big duh.

    Other commishes are quite content to have independent media spiral down into insignificance, while beefing up team Web sites and their respective league dot.coms. They cannot control the independents' content but they can control their access and, with it, their impact.

    They also aren't so stupid that they don't see the declines in circulation and in advertising that keep papers afloat. Why rely on a feisty, filtered and sometimes awkward messenger when you can go right to the current and prospective customers?

    Teams/leagues don't need newspaper sports sections like they used to. In many cases the inconvenience of being held accountable is too pricey relative to the promotional value, because teams/leagues can buy or create their own promotional coverage.

    Maybe Bettman was just trying to make a few sportswriters and editors feel appreciated before they hit bottom. Or he was showing again why he and his are a distant No. 4.
  4. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    Joe, I don't think his point is that there isn't going to be a future, or that the teams "need" newspapers to get their message across. His point is that in order to remain viable, we need to be able to give readers exactly what seems to be getting jettisoned in cost-cutting. I've never thought much of Bettman, but he's certainly right about this.
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Thanks, B.P. Guess I'm not accustomed to thinking anyone from the places we cover, least of all the commishes, give a flying hoot about our particular predicament. Sounds more, then, like was talking as a reader and a sports fan than as a poobah for his sport.
  6. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    No need for blue font.
  7. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member


    The NHL has been the most pro-active league in terms of multimedia content on the web. They're also making a lot of strides in terms of written content, from what I've seen. This all came after the lockout, when newspapers discovered they could sell papers without sending writers across two countries to cover the local hockey team. But Bettman, for all his faults, is smart enough to know that an objective account of the game still has a place.
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    That's true for any sport. Just writing game story after game story doesn't cut it in this age of TV and the internet.

    Sure, a lot of papers stopped sending NHL beat writers a few years back. But baseball and basketball aren't far behind. The concept is the same, regardless of what sport you are covering.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Except for the fact that the leagues are hacking and slashing their online staffs too, the NFL in particular. If they're the future, they have a funny way of showing it.
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