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How will conference shuffling affect the print media?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Chase, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Johnny Chase

    Johnny Chase Member

    All this stuff with changing conferences got me to thinking, how will all this affect newspapers and whether they travel to a road game or not?

    Obviously College Station, Tx. isn't too far from the rest of the Big 12, while in the SEC there will have to be more and more flights. Is the College Station newspaper going to be able to cover road games?

    Should Kansas move to the Big East like has been rumored, can the Lawrence Journal-World afford to fly all over the place out there?

    What about the Norman Transcript should Oklahoma move to the Pac-12?

    Obviously the Morning News and Star-Telegram will still follow TCU around, I'm just worried that all the traveling will be too much for the smaller papers.
  2. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I don't know about every small paper, but the Norman Transcript seems to be good about traveling with OU. They were the only Oklahoma paper that came out to Virginia year before last when OU played in the baseball Super Regional. They were back again in March for the women's basketball tournament along with The Oklahoman, but Tulsa and other papers in the state didn't make the trip.

    Maybe if OU goes to a different conference they have to cut out some of those trips for minor sports, I have no idea, but I'd guess they would find the cash to travel for football and men's hoops.

    The Lawrence Journal-World is locally owned and seems to have good resources. In the Big East a lot of their basketball games would presumably be at DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, etc. (And possibly K-State, Iowa State or Missouri if those schools landed in the Big East too). Those trips wouldn't be much different than College Station or Lubbock.
  3. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    The trend seems to be send someone for the big events and hire a freelancer in the host city for the typical gamer stuff.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I've seen this trend in metro papers, but what about the Lawrence Journal-Worlds and Norman Transcripts, as were mentioned by the OP. Sure, it makes sense for the Times-Picayune to hire a freelancer in Virginia if VTech joins the SEC, but could the Athens Banner-Herald afford to do the same? These papers in college towns sell themselves for their coverage of those college sports teams. Not having a reporter at a football or men's basketball seems unthinkable. Maybe nothing is these days. I know the Iowa City Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register, both Gannett papers, combined forces on a few Iowa basketball games last season by just sending one reporter. I believe they each had their own guy at every football game, but shared the content.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    What does this do for outlying papers that try to play the "big boy" role, but only send a writer to home football games and nothing else?
  6. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    The DMN hasn't followed TCU around in years.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    More layoffs and further reliance on wires?
  8. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    You know, I tend to believe the college town papers are doing better financially than a lot of metros and small-town dailies. Athens, Lawrence, Boulder, Norman, etc. are going to draw a lot more eyeballs than a typical daily in a town of 70-150,000 people just because of the college teams, but the operating costs can't be as huge as a metro.

    Take Athens and Atlanta. The UGA beat might be the biggest at both papers, it's certainly up there at the AJC. So Athens is getting a ton of people reading their Bulldogs stuff, but don't have to spend the money to also cover Georgia Tech, the Falcons, the Braves, the Hawks, until recently the Thrashers, small colleges, hundreds of high schools, etc.

    Of course, I haven't studied the numbers to back this up, but anecdotal evidence shows college town papers have more money to throw around and haven't been hit as badly by cuts in recent years.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think the smaller college papers are a lot smarter about travel than the bigger papers.

    I look at the amount of $$$ spent on certain travel when I was at the bigger papers and so much of it was just a complete waste. I was at papers that sent 25 people to cover a Super Bowl. Shit like that is just fucking stupid. I was at a paper that spent a couple grand on airfare so I wouldn't miss a NBA preseason game that was being played in small cities on back-to-back nights.

    We'd send six guys to NFL games and some of the people there would write nothing more than a 12-inch sider.

    College papers can't do things that stupid because they have to be smarter about how they spend their money.
  10. Johnny Chase

    Johnny Chase Member

    Wow, I figured with them having so much success recently the DMN would be at every game. Obviously there not as big as Texas and aTm, but still.
  11. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Athens has been cut plenty, both in terms of staff and how many folks they send to UGA games. Of course Morris Communications' ineptitude has something to do with that.

    We used to take one of the Morris planes to far-away games like LSU, with three or four writers and a couple of photogs on board. We'd fly down the morning of and fly back after we were done writing.

    In the SEC the big cuts have come in basketball coverage, not football. I think only a few papers send writers to all conference road hoops games these days. Heck, about seven years ago I was going to every UGA women's hoops road game.
  12. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to suggest the college town papers weren't suffering cuts at all, just that they don't seem to be torn to shreds at quite the same level.

    In the chain I used to work for there's a paper in a BCS conference town. The staff is quite a bit smaller than it was five years ago, but they still have a sports editor, two beat writers and a columnist with a stable of stringers doing high schools.

    A similar sized paper in the same chain and the same state has one guy in sports trying to cover a bunch of high schools, a D-III college, a minor league baseball team and a couple of local race tracks.
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