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New newspaper cutbacks thread

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    However, we must all admit that the NFL and MLB are unique animals.
    The NFL has had THE PULSE of America for as long as I can remember, the distinct reason being that with a 16-game season before the playoffs, every game counts! Add in the gambling and fantasy aspects of the game and it's easy to see why everyone is waiting with baited breath as to how Big Ben will be come the next season starting. The NBA and especially the NHL can't compete with that, they each play around 90 games and in they play deep into June, the NFL is done in February and then every fan in every city gets to start at zero again. NBA and NHL cities get from June unitl October than it starts all over again.
    As for baseball, that is a given -- THEY ARE THE ONLY THING IN THE SUMMER!. Who deoesn't have days during the summer that are dominated on the inside pages with an MLB roundup? You just don't have that in the winter with NFL, college football, NBA, NHL and all the prep sports abouds.
  2. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I won't.

    But I'll still say it's only hockey.
  3. gumbojumbo

    gumbojumbo Guest

    Is this a newbie-to-the-business thread? Or a redundant again thread? All this - cutbacks, financial considerations, inexplicable management decisions, etc. - is news or shocking in what way? This just started happening? It sucks, but it's not new. Let's not start jumping ship like suddenly things turned this way. This is like a "hey, it's summer, it's hot" thread.

    While much is out of our control, doing the best job you can is not, and maybe too many people aren't doing the best job they personally can. It's like those we cover: leave it on the field and hope for the best. And hope for an inheritance.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I'm a puckhead. I live and breathe hockey during hockey season. I watched every game in the playoffs (except when 2 were on at the same time). I went to several games this season on my off nights, as I always do. I've loved hockey a long-long, long-long-long time.

    But ...

    Let's keep this L.A. Times/Kings situation in perspective. Yes, it says bad things about the newspaper business ... but a lot of things say bad things about the newspaper business. This isn't the "Oh No, Shall We Find a Lifeboat?" situation that some people seem to think it is. And the reason it's not is: "It's just hockey." There, I said it. (Boy, that was hard.)

    But seriously. ESPN didn't think it was worth its while to show a single NHL game on their conglomerate of stations last season. Not a one. Most newspapers around the country did not put hockey on their front cover a single time last season. Not a one. Seriously ... it's just hockey. The L.A. Times is just following the lead of the rest of the media.

    While it is the L.A. Times, and ideally a paper of that size and reputation should never have to "sink" to the whim of the majority, we all understand the realities of our business right now.

    And frankly, it's not going to make a lot of difference to most people. The people who care about hockey are still going to fill arenas, as they did last season (and usually do.) They're still going to play the games, the Times isn't going to drop hockey off the face of the earth. But honestly, most people could care less. And the ones that do care ... will find it regardless.

    (I will say, Helene Elliott is getting shit on by this move, though I doubt it has anything to do with her. They should've let her do her job as well as she's always done it, and kept the status quo as long as she was still there. You don't fuck with a Hall of Famer. And the move's not going to make enough difference to be worth losing her anyway. I'd be surprised if she stayed very long after this.)
  5. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Some more perspective:

    --- I believe we somehow expected the high-flying days of the 90s (booming economy, unlimited travel, all kinds of space) to last forever and are taken aback when the punch bowl gets pulled away.

    --- As horrified as we are to learn that the LA Times won't be covering some hockey on the road, we forget that for much of sports journalism's history that was the norm. Most of the New York and Philadelphia newspapers didn't even staff Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in Hershey, Pa. It fell upon the Warriors' PR guy to send stories to most Philly papers. The ONLY reason there are any images from that game is because an Associated Press photographer just happened to take his son to the game on his day off, and once he saw history in the making he went and got his camera and clicked off a couple of now-famous pictures.

    --- Go to your paper's microfilm and look at sections from the 60s and 70s. Then come back here and tell me how we're taking a monster, inexcusible step backward with all these cuts. Backward from 1996, yes. But not backward when you consider the long history of sports journalism. Sometimes it helps to have a point of reference that stretches further back than the Clinton administration.

    --- As sports keeps expanding, it gets more and more expensive to cover. When I arrived at my joint 20 years ago, we had ONE professional team that made eight road trips per year (maybe 12 counting preseason and playoffs). Now we have FOUR pro teams, and in addition to 40 road trips in hockey and basketball, you also have playoffs that last for two months. And you also have colleges that 20 years ago didn't even have a football teams now playing in Division I-A. Gotta cover them now, too. And don't forget gas prices have made travel of all kinds more expensive.

    That's a boatload of additional expenses . . . with little corresponding increase in ad revenue to make up for it. Something has to give, doesn't it?
  6. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Of course, people could actually read those stories (I know, what a concept) and then they'd find out how much better the writing used to be.

    It doesn't take a lot of work to do this. Go back and find a Sports Illustrated from 20 years ago. Then look at one today.

    It's like night and day. The writing quality from earlier towers over the current dreck.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    So one chicken/egg question would be:

    Did readers have longer attention spans because the writing was better? Or was the writing better because readers had longer attention spans?

    (My question, while not very clear, is about the correlation.) Because very few people today have attention spans long enough -- let alone feel like they have the time -- to get through an entire issue of a 1970s-style SI every week. The adjustment we seem to be trying to make now is to write shorter (not better), but the point is that readers' tastes have changed. We're just reflecting society at large, unfortunate as that is.
  8. JME

    JME Member

    No clue what your point is here. This is a relevant, vital topic, and there are new developments happening every day.
  9. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    With circulation plummeting, I'd say we're not reflecting society too awfully well.
  10. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    NYT cuts back the newshole by 5 percent...

  11. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    "Janet Robinson, CEO of The New York Times Co., said in a statement that the paper’s editorial and design staffs are “exploring opportunities for adapting The Times’s signature look and feel while also making the paper more user-friendly.”"

    Yet another example of putting Picasso For A Day creation ahead of everything else.

    Nice going, NYT. Way to prove my point.
  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Wow, just wow.
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