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Randy Savage's death: Sports section?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, May 21, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    My guess is that a lot of newspapers relegated the death of Randy "Macho Man" Savage to the sports section today. I know ESPN.com had it as one of its top headlines.

    To me, his death is no more a sports story than it was when Dennis Hopper died. Like Hopper in "Hoosiers," the "Macho Man" was an actor playing a role in a scripted sports entertainment offering.

    Convince me I'm wrong.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I concur with you. WWF admitted in court that it was a show, and that's one reason it's now WWE (for Entertainment).

    I quickly deflected any suggestion that we would be using the Macho Man story in our sports section. That said, I thought it was important that it get into the Saturday entertainment package.
  3. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    We didn't run it in our sports section. Never even really considered it. It went in our A section.
  4. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    It should have gone in the front section or the obit page.

    Most sports editors I know would ahve kicked it back and held pretty firm.


    It is *not* a sports story, but I don't think relegated is the right word.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    You're not thinking like a newsie then.
  6. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Agree with the crowd, and I'm a big pro wrestling guy. Macho Man goes in with the celebrity obits, which as far as I know, isn't the sports section. I feel like I seldom see obits at all in the sports section, unless it is a huge figure (whenever Ali passes, he's probably on A-1 in a lot of papers or on the sports front) or if there was a big local connection.

    I think it's a dicier issue when you get into the area of writing stories on wrestlers. In a slow summer month, I ran a profile on a WWE guy coming into our area, and who had ties to the area too. I got chewed out a bit by the older, more senior sports editor in my chain, but the story got a couple good e-mails and plenty of hits, so it seemed to resonate.
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Nice obit in the NYT today. I bet that was the first time Macho Man ever was mentioned in The Times.
  8. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    I take the opposite tack, not because I think pro wrestling is a sport, but because that's where your readers are more likely to look for it. Poker and bridge are both card games, but one moves on sports wires and the other takes up residence with Garfield and the Junior Jumble -- because that's where people expect to see both.
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    When things such as this came up at my previous newspaper, where I was more in charge of these decisions at night, it wasn't a matter of relegation at all.

    The news-side night editor would come up to me and ask if we were taking the item. If not, they would take it. I can't recall one instance of them saying "Hey, we're not running this, so you should." or "Hey, I saw that you had this item; we want it, so you can't have it."
  10. I was once asked to preview a professional wrestling event at a local VFW and was given permission to do the story as though the wrestler's characters and their feud were real. It was one of the most deeply satisfyingly and morale-boosting things I've ever been able to do.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Savage: Definitely news. Pro wrestling as a sport took the last train out of town long time ago.

    A quick meeting of minds with newsies usually clears up any turf wars. I do take World Series of Poker and Iditarod, and somehow I ended up with the Bonds trial.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    We wind up taking Westminster Dog Show each year mainly because it breaks late and most of the back-of-the-book news pages are finished before 9.
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