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New Dodger blogger, and a bonus item

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    L.A. Observed has an item about Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers beat writer for MLB.com, starting a blog on the team:


    The bonus item is on the Southern California types who used to work for The National, and if you read the NYT link on the paper's demise, there's an interesting parallel to our times, although not to the degree we're experiencing now. It's about how one of the reasons for the end of the paper (aside from the distribution problems, etc.) was a soft ad market because of a recession.

    It's likely not something most of you don't know; just interesting to read the same words we're reading now in the context of 1991.
  2. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    I see you're your old cheery self again. The National=The best thing in the then-worst of times.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    You still read those explanations and still wonder -- well, I do -- why, if the sports daily model continues to work in some European countries, it can't work here if it's done right.
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Is there a sports daily that covers all of Europe, in multiple editions delivered all around the continent?
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    ...that blew throught a five-year budget in 16 months.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Is the continent of Europe analogous to the United States? I suppose, perhaps in a size sense. But it would be all one language -- or could be -- and satellite distribution of pages would certainly be more technologically advanced now than it was even then, I'd think.
  7. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Ah . . . . you didn't answer my question, SF.

    Don't be too seduced by the European model. It's not so difficult to have a sports daily that covers all the goings-on in a place the size of, say, Alabama. But a sports daily that attempts to cover - and cover well - the events in 18 such places, across multiple time zones? And distribute a paper product? A daunting task.

    Now triple the coverage area. And it would still be impossible to do something like the National daily with a competent paper product.

    As has been said, ESPN.com does a pretty good job with this anyway.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Probably because they weren't paying attention to The National, today's publishers and CEOs failed to learn an important lesson from it: When you farm out the printing and distribution, you are going to get fucked on deadlines and essential content will be missing from the paper. Yet in the past year, more and more papers are closing printing plants and letting nearby competitors print them. It will bring nothing good.

    I remember Gurnick covering baseball for a great L.A. Herald Examiner sports section. For a while in the 1980s, I had a mail subscription (I had mail subscriptions to some other papers around the country, too). The beat coverage was superb, but I was more interested in the design, which was often highly inventive (for that era) but came out looking muddy because it was was printed on shitty presses. While print quality probably wasn't a major reason for the paper folding, it's a prime example of a newsroom's best efforts being mitigated by forces out of its hands.

    Another tangent. Before The National, Knight Ridder tried an all-sports daily (called AllSports) in the L.A. market. Pasadena, at the time a KR daily, was one of the first U.S. papers to have pagination. Basically, they'd strip out all the Pasadena Star-News stories around the ads and fill all the Star-News sections with sports. It was mostly wire -- this wasn't an especially large-budget experiment. As I remember, there was a lot of emphasis on horse racing, too. You'd think it would have worked, but it didn't.
  9. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Europe: bunch of little countries, each most often contained within a single time zone.

    United States: One big-ass country, six time zones.

    The only thing close to "done right" would be Sporting News Today.
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