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Hiring Writers for CBSSports.com NFL Correspondent Network

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by jetssack, May 6, 2009.

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  1. dybo7

    dybo7 New Member

    Folks, I don't post on here much, but I have a major problem with this.

    I was just in a press box Tuesday talking with laid off sports writers who are fighting for freelance bucks.

    Now this nonsense. This drives down the already brutal freelance market. These people want full-time NFL writers for a gross of just more than $20,000 a year. That's not even enough for just out of college folks.

    The real kicker is Bleacher Report raised $3.5 million in a funding round last fall, which topped off the $5 million it previously raised. It also has affiliation deals with CBS and Fox. ( http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/bleacher-report-hunkers-down-with-35-million-more/ ). Who knows what they're ad revenue is? The company has 13 employees. After not paying any contributors to their site, they now want full-time writers for dishwasher wages.

    This is disgusting, and a major detriment to anyone who has professional experience. I'm all for people just out of school getting gigs, but they should not be an NFL beat writer while long-time pros twist in the wind with no options because of this greedy company that has partnered with places that have TV deals with the NFL.

    Anyone who has any respect for journalism, the ad says, "experience required but not necessary," should take major issue with this.
  2. tagline

    tagline Member

    I was bored, so I went through the application process. After listing your "favorite" sports journalist, columnist, blog, radio personality, and on and on and on ... you're given a writing assignment. You must pick at least two of 10 questions to answer and BleacherReport.com will post your writing on their website.

    Here's my favorite:

    4. What turned you into a fan of the team you'd like to cover?

    My "assignment" won't make deadline.
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Have fun.

    Like the two posters before me said, this shits all over the rest of us in this profession.

    But hey, I guess if media companies can continue to get away with paying people shit wages, whatever.

    NQLBLQ Member

    I wrote columns / edited articles for Bleacher Report right out of college - and if it paid, it isnt a bad gig. Sure it features a lot of bloggers - most without a journalistic bone in their body - and I had to wade through muck just to find a decent cranberry. But, please don't be confused, this is a fan-boi site. You are a fan and you blog/write/complain/praise your favorite team and everyone else on the site does the same. And people love it.

    And let's be real - best business model ever. If someone came to you and said, "I'm going to start a website where everyone gives us the content and we make all of the money" you would happily say, "I'm in." And so what if it isn't real journalism, no one is asking a real journalist to sign up.

    At 400 bucks a week is about how much I am making right now (age 25). And if I could keep my current gig, I might sign up even if all it does is pay for my gas to drive back and forth to the stadium because its a great way to get clips. Even if I have LOVE my FAVORITE player Matt Cassel and talk about how AWESOME it was when he was playing GREAT during the camp and how I GOT HIS AUTOGRAPH and a PICTURE after a press conference. I even got his CELL NUMBER to go have a DRINK WITH HIM.

    I can do that for NFL clips and 400 bucks a month. Now, if you want to get upset that Bloggers are ruining real sports journalism - I'll drink to that. But don;t get this job twisted, it isn't for everyone. In fact, I bet it isn't for 99% of the people who post on this board.

    "It is what it is."
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I won't give it a seal of approval or a diss, but reading through the thread, I was thinking, for $400 a week, it might not be that bad for someone young if they can take your credential and access and use it to freelance to others to supplement the pay. But then I clicked on the link in the first post, and it says, "Correspondents may not cover their team for any entity other than CBSSports.com and BleacherReport.com."
    That's too bad. I can think of freelance opportunities (particularly magazine) that wouldn't compete with anything those websites are doing.

    EDIT: I just saw Playthrough's description of their essays as psycho, so I clicked again. It has a bunch of topics and says, "Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of written work submitted to Bleacher Report during the evaluation period, as well as education and prior journalism experience. Applicants are asked to publish a handful of articles on Bleacher Report over the next few weeks covering the following topics:"

    How much of this do you think is a ploy to load up their website with free content (of course, you get what you pay for) from aspiring applicants?
  6. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    I don't know where you people are living where $400/week isn't enough to live on. Living just minutes outside of a major metropolitan area with an NFL, NHL, and MLB team and BCS conference University, as well as multiple mid-major universities, my rent is just $430/month.

    I can cover all of my bills with two weeks pay at this rate. Another two weeks and I can feasibly get health insurance, as well as pay my quarterly car insurance.

    I hinted at this in another thread, but I think people need to wake up. You're sniffing at $20,000/year when there's a large chunk of the population that is BEGGING to make that much, including me.

    You know how much I make right now? $10,500/year. That's with two part-time jobs and some freelancing. You're telling me that I shouldn't jump at the potential for a $9,500/year raise and a higher profile gig?
  7. tagline

    tagline Member

    It's called the real world. You're welcome to visit anytime.

    I don't want a 60-hour-a-week job (which an NFL beat often is) where I could "feasibly" afford health insurance.

    No thanks.
  8. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Kids cost.
  9. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    60-hours a week is a vacation from the hours I'm currently working, and I can't even dream about health insurance. I'd say that's a pretty cruel visit to the real world, thank you very much.

    Everything about a job like this - of which there are very few - is a step up in life for someone like me. So, great, you don't want the job. One less ego to worry about. I'd just appreciate it if you took your upturned nose elsewhere and allow those of us trying to scrape by to legitimately learn about this potential opportunity.
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    No one's blocking your e-mail to cbssports.com, EagleMorph. Have at it. I hope you or someone on SportsJournalists.com gets one of the spots; I will be very, very curious to hear how it works out.

    I think some of the concerns raised here are very legitimate and should be noted. The non-competing thing that Big Ragu pointed out is one of them. Plenty of NFL writers dabble in other work that doesn't interfere or compete with their daily gig, with blessing from their bosses, but here you can't do any of that. If the $400 a week is a lot to you, then good. Because you won't be allowed to make one extra cent.
  11. srnitz86

    srnitz86 Guest

    Yep, I'm a recent grad and I applied for it as well.
  12. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    The rule of thumb has been not to take out college loans totalling more than your first year's salary. But if recent grads, in 2009, really think $400 a week is reasonable pay to live in/near a city that has an NFL team, then the costs of college need to be seriously questioned.
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