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If Mark Cuban could change your sports section, here's what he'd do:

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by enigami, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Well, I wish the newspaper industry was run by people who know when to punt. Instead what we have are leaders who think it's possible to reverse circulation slides by making the product younger or flashier or dumber -- tactics we've been trying for at least 30 years that have never worked. I'd like to see a CEO say, "You know what, not only is this lost circulation never coming back no matter what we do, but more readers are going to follow them out the door, and we can't stop that, either. But what we can do is aim for the high end, put out a more intelligent, classier product and sell advertisers on the fact that our audience may be shrinking, but it's the smartest, most successful, most rooted-in-this-community audience there is, and no one else can deliver it to you like we can." It's like magazines. You don't have to have the biggest circulation to make a lot of money, you just have to have great demographics.
  2. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I passed along both Cuban articles (Dallas Morning News and Esquire) to my ME tonight.

    I'm curious as to what he thinks.
  3. jay_christley

    jay_christley Member

    I don't think so.
    This was the first time I did any research on broadcast.com ... only because I heard something a while back on how Cuban's one of the richest guy never to have actually accomplished anything other than sell high.
    Again, I don't hold that against him.
    However, one would think the executive sports editor of the Orlando Sentinel wouldn't just throw something like "knows a little something about the journalism business" off the cuff without a quick bit of research.

    It does concern me about Cuban's track record and how it relates to papers.
    Cuban has a ton of ideas on how to make papers better.
    How is this any different them me having 10 ideas on how I would get the Red Sox back in the playoffs?
    (Other than the size of our paychecks.)

    When he throws out blanket statements like, "You know what happens to papers sales when a team is going well," do we have numbers to back that up? Is that in fact true? Did the Globe circ go up in 2004 when the Sox won -- and considering the Globe covers the team in print with a tremendous amount of ink, did this create new readers?
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it goes up, but usually doesn't help the bottom line and sometimes hurts it. Most newspapers make hardly any money from the cover price anyway. Then you tally the extra space we're adding and the extra travel expenses. It's not like you can increase your advertising rates for something as temporary as a team's monthlong surge to the title -- the best you can hope for is soaking the advertisers a bit for a special section or two.
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I used to work for an "internet broadcast company." I did play-by-play. It went under (not because of me!). Want to know why it didn't succeed? NO ADVERTISING! And, they had a VERY successful salesman from radio selling the ads for the net broadcasts.

    That experience is partly why I still don't buy the "all the ads are moving to the net" line management keeps feeding everyone in this business.
  6. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    Cuban's senitments are right, which exemplifies what is wrong with this industry:

    All the brilliant, fresh, innovative minds are involved in businesses other than newspapers.

    We've got newspaper people in charge, when we actually need brilliant business people in charge.

    The one thing Cuban said that nobody has touched on: Advertising.

    This industry does a piss poor job of marketing itself. And the impact of that should not be underestimated.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Thank you, Stuart Garner.
  8. Kaylee

    Kaylee Member

    Saw Cuban on PTI this afternoon.

    The act swiftly becometh grating.
  9. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Well, it's incredibly obvious to me. :D

    Alas, it doesn't seem so obvious to the people who actually control the purse strings and make the decisions.
  10. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Cuban says a lot of smart things. Basically it boils down to: Keep your copy exclusive, keep it in depth, and give people something they can't get somewhere else.

    You're only gonna do that if you start pulling people off the radio and TV.

    I'm serious. If you had a large newspaper that said in an ad: "XXX paper has XXX and XXX and XXX and had won XXX and XXX and XXX. And you're not going to find these writers on the radio or on television. You're going to find them only in your daily edition of XXX," do you think people are just going to say "ah fuck it, i'll only listen to the radio and watch TV" or do you htink they'll say "Well, I gotta get the paper, too, just to see what they're saying."
  11. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Good point, Alma.

    Of course, that would mean newspapers need to pay those people better.

    Think papers are ready to do that? They're still so in love with the so-called synergy of having people in multiple mediums.
  12. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    The problem with the newspaper industry is Wall Street. The publicly-owned newspaper chains are being held to a ridiculouis profit-margin standard. The vast majority of major papers have profit margins between 20 to 30 percent. Most Fortune 500 companies would do hand stands if they had 10 percent profit margins.

    Sure, there are problems with newspapers, their Chicken Little (and chicken-shit) management. But how many papers would be in great shape if they could simply aim for a 15 percent profiit margin?
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