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Is your paper cutting back on prep football coverage?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by chazp, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    I talked with Jeff Sentell from the B-ham News this week and found out the state's biggest paper is scaling back prep football coverage to Jefferson and Shelby County. He said he was informed due to the declining economy he would have to cut back on correspondents and not to cover schools outside the two counties. He was told by higher ups that many schools the paper used to cover (I think 65+, is what Ron Ingram once told me) used to cover will only have recaps in the paper if they call them in. Is your paper doing the same? Have you cut back on correspondents? Have you scaled back the size of your coverage area?
     
  2. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Day-um. That's leaving out a healthy chunk of the circulation area. I did notice that in addition to their usual announcement soliciting stringers they also asked for freelance deskers to take calls.
     
  3. you can be the biggest paper in the country, but cutting back on high school football is a big mistake
     
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    We are actually ramping it up a bit this year. A lot more attention to schools we used to just accept call-ins from.
     
  5. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    We're doing a bit more than a year ago. Two interns will be out in the field, so that's two more games we can cover. We have some stringers available up in the major metro's neighborhood, but we would cover any games up that way (only our in-county teams head up that way, and we'd want staff copy for them).
     
  6. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    we're amping up our coverage with more on-line, adding an extra game to be shot, a blog.
     
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

  8. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    We've ramped up on local team coverage, but scaled back a bit on area team coverage. With a three-person staff, it's tough just to keep up with the locals now that we have our own separate sports channel web page and shoot video and update online, blah blah...
     
  9. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Yes, but a "freelance" clerk for one night a week during the season only? New by me.
     
  10. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Active Member

    Since we're down to four full-timers (and no stringer budget as of now), we're actually going to have to make a bunch of cuts in preps, which is the bread-and-butter of our section.

    Because of our regional copy desk situation, we won't have boxscores in Saturday's edition. We also don't have the manpower to handle calls, so we're experimenting with all of our results being sent to us electronically (either e-mail or fill out the form at highschoolsports.net).

    Like I said, we're down to four in sports, one of which is the SE and another is the college beat writer. So we're really down to two people who will be out covering games. We're going to try to get at least one, maybe two stringers out of our shrinking budget. But at the very least, we'll go from 6 staffed games per week to 2-4. I'd imagine our Sunday section will have a stronger prep presence than years past with feature follows and a boxscores page, but that will come at the expense of losing some of our expanded college coverage, which includes two Division I universities (one mid-major and one BCS power).

    This is for a 45k circ paper that covers a pretty wide area consisting of some 40 or so football-playing high schools.

    Translation, we're up shit creek without a paddle and the boat done sprung a leak.
     
  11. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Ah. Mr. Sentell. That's a great American right there.
     
  12. Our biggest problem is a photog.
    We have one photog, and another reporter-photog, who is off on Fridays. Management is not going to rearrange his schedule, so we will have only one guy shooting photos for us. Meaning only our county games will get any photos in the paper.
    One of our sports guys and myself (I voluntarily cover prep football) are going to learn to use the better (D1) cameras to take action photos to help out.
    Plus, It's another good skill to have for the next round of layoffs.
     
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