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Local papers, Gannettized and sanitized

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Any of you in markets with Gannett dailies?

    Did yours roll out the USA Today baseball and Nation pages today?

    The baseball page is a must-run, as I understand it, in either a full-page (with box scores) or half-page (w/o boxes) version.

    Thoughts? In 1990, when I was still at USAT, I can imagine this would've run into a lot of resistance at the local level in a lot of markets.

    That ship sailed long ago, of course.
  2. Hey, we ran the Chicago Tribune's caps and previews on a full page, and we're not a Tribune paper. But with this day of reduced staffs, and a busy college basketball weekend, nobody complained. I think our readers were just happy to see Opening Day acknowledged in something larger than a fact box and pull quote.
  3. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    So, what's the problem with Gannett doing this? If they own the papers, why shouldn't they be pushing their own baseball page? Saves desk some time, for one thing.

    Are you suggesting each Gannett-owned paper's staff should produce its own baseball page? If so, what does that accomplish, other than wste man-hours?
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Because for many years, Gannett would claim that each of their papers had LOCAL control with local decision-making (silly initiative stuff not withstanding).

    In other words, papers could emphasize the teams in their area over teams that weren't in their area. Now with one centralized page, it's one size fits all. Nevermind that each community has their own preferences.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    What Baron said. I wasn't suggesting anything other than that times, and perceptions, had clearly changed.

    With AP producing a similar product, it on;y makes sense for Gannett to try some thing like that.

    How readers may feel about it ... well, we shall see. For some papers, but by no means all, it may represent a step up in quality on a daily basis.
  6. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    I'm a baseball fan and I want the best overall coverage, to include my favorite baseball team. My city doesn't have an MLB club, so forget the "local" angle. Plenty of folks in this area like the Braves, plenty also like the Cards and no matter where you live, except maybe the Left Coast, you're going to keep running into Tigers, Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox fans. National coverage is where it's at, baby.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    I don't see the issue here...seems like a good change to me, coverage blankets all of the chains papers and doesn't require excess staff hours. Who says the local paper can't come up with it's own regional stories for another page?
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Some of the reasoning on here just goes to show how times have changed.
    It would have been unthinkable, just a few years ago, that the sports section, or the newspaper, wouldn't have complete control over content.
    Now, with regional desks, corporate mandated pages and news share agreements you still have local advertising distribution pages, but they aren't local newspapers, not anymore.
  9. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Using that much space makes it seem like they're trying to make every sports section resemble USAT
  10. CNY

    CNY Member

    Will USAT also be producing this for Saturday and Sunday editions?
  11. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I'm a reader in a Gannett city, and I didn't know about this change until today, when I flipped through the national/local section. It completely threw me.

    Gut reaction is I don't like it. If I want USAT, I'll buy that paper. It was really weird seeing it there.

    Wonder how USAT's sales will be affected in these cities. Why buy both now?
  12. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member


    My paper runs it, and my biggest complaint is that the updates are haphazard. You have results and a box score of a game, but the standings aren't updated. Or their silly baseball line isn't inserted until the second or third draft. We'll be rolling out the nation.world page next week.

    The biggest problem is shoehorning the darn thing in. It's the equivalent of an unfunded mandate from the government. You have to run this thing, but in most cases there won't be extra space for it, which cuts into the news hole for everything else.

    But, given the other stuff we've had to deal with (furloughs) this is not as big a pain in the neck.
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