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Is this the year we stop running MLB boxes?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I was thinking it might still be 3-4 years in the future, but if we're gonna get into the spring with 3-page sections fronting classifieds and whatnot, then it may become a real issue.

    Anybody run into this issue last season?

    In a universe where the news hole continues to be so tight, it would put a hell of a squeeze on the local story budget in april and may and would just purely be a mess in late august and september.

    Whatever we do, we have to decide long before we get there.
  2. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Box scores are like stock tickers. The people that want that information can now easily access it on the Internet.

    I'd imagine you'll see some papers run a full box for the local or nearby team and a truncated box (score by innings, pitchers of record and extra base hits) for the rest of the games.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    How close in the nearest MLB team Henry?
  4. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I would say you should just try to keep the boxes of the local teams. That's what we do with NBA and NHL boxes already. Just the Bulls and Blackhawks.
    We ran all the NFL boxes, but with just a juco and preps Sunday is a slow day for us.
    We also had a full baseball page with all the boxes, but I wonder if that will still happen come opening day.
  5. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    We tried to have a full baseball page with boxes, caps and notebook or feature, but I would think the paper will try to cut it. We had a service do the boxes for us, so it seems like an easy expense to cut.
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I know the outcry the local paper (my former place of employment) would face if it stopped running MLB boxes. Of course, it has more space than most papers. Readers -- people who actually pick up a paper, as opposed to those who surf the Internet -- won't like this at all, and if you keep giving them fewer reasons to get the paper, fewer and fewer of them will.

    But I know most places are running out of news hole and have to do something, so I'm not judging. Just shaking my head that it's come to this. I can't imagine it not being followed by cancellations.

    Good luck.
  7. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I wandered off. We're in NE Mississippi. The locals are primarily followers of the Cardinals (been on the radio here forever), Braves and Cubs (cable TV), but there's no "local" team as such.
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    A little easier to get away with it in that area, I would think.
    If space is that tight, you might not have a choice.
  9. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    we're a 25k paper with a baseball team 5 hours away. at the most we run the two texas teams' boxes. sometimes, though, those two don't even get in.
  10. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I would guess you could get away with just running those without many complaints.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, I have argued for several years that running all the MLB, NBA, NHL boxes at a paper with anything less than a six-page section is a COLLASAL waste of space.

    NFL is a different animal, because most games are played Sunday when there isn't as much else happening to fight for the space. I think baseball is about the worst, because it's 15 games most days. If you run all the boxes and a roundup, that pretty well eats up a full page. In the middle of summer you can get by with it. But in April-May and September, when you also have preps/colleges playing, it can be a killer. (And I always HATED the inconsistency of doing it some days and not others.)

    My suggestion would be to run the regional team(s) and leave it at that. Ditto for NBA and NHL.

    I know some papers run agate only and some roundups only. As a copy desk guy, I always found roundups were easier to cut when space got tight.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Well, yeah, but ... some guys with local ties on the Brewers. A certain number of noisy Yankees and Red Sox fans, etc., etc., rinse, repeat.

    The whole thing gives me a brain cramp, but I'd rather be hashing it out now than in late March, when we're up against it.
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