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Seattle Times hosts Mariners pre-game live show

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by batboy, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. batboy

    batboy New Member

    I noticed that the Seattle Times broadcast a live pre-game show over the internet today.

    You can find it here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2009051713_msstlive.html

    Baseball beat writer Geoff Baker was the host, with columnists Larry Stone, Steve Kelly, Danny O'Neill and Jerry Brewer as invited guests. Apparently, this was an extension of the live webcast Baker had done on Mariners coverage throughout spring training. They were obviously at a bar of some kind in Seattle, and said later on his blog that thousands had tuned in live over the internet.

    What do you think? Is this something newspapers should do more of, to try to make money and gain sponsors? Or just an experiment gone wrong?
  2. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Three posts and they are all about Geoff Baker's webcasts.

    Do you advertise on his show? Get money based on how many hits he gets? Or are you some strange baseball webcast groupie?
  3. "What do you think? Is this something newspapers should do more of, to try to make money and gain sponsors? Or just an experiment gone wrong?"

    Hmm ...
    Can I answer "Yes"?

    The thing for me is, this is a tough thing to do when you're not used to it and the beat guy seemed to be working really hard to build energy -- which you need to a degree -- and I know he's done a lot of good work for a long time ... and I also know it's this whole transition time and you can't be too harsh on anyone trying to figure out a new way as things go forward ...

    All that said ...

    This is just a first impression from the beginning of Part 1, but you can't go that far over the line into public relations territory. Using "we" and hyping up the Mariners players and that kind of stuff is just not the way to go. I think he can do better than that for one thing. Again, I don't want to rip, because it's not easy to get up there when you're used to being a print guy and it's an uncertain time. And I think he's done some great work for a long time in the paper.

    But I think you can do just as much to bring attention to the GOOD things your paper does in this kind of format without selling out the journalism and just becoming an extension of the PR department.

    You can take control of the crowd by touching on important issues and relating to them without doing the rah-rah stuff, I think. It's not an easy line to walk but it can be done. Heck, tons of broadcasters have done it for years.

    I'm not against this sort of thing at all. I actually think it's a good idea. Just needs to be refined a little bit to show there is value in what newspaper journalists bring -- the knowledge, the insight, the behind-the-scenes stories -- without having to just whip the crowd up for the team you cover.

    Share stories with them. Take them into the clubhouse and give them all the things reporters can offer that can't be picked up anywhere else. The little stories we share in press boxes. Maybe even spend a little time taking questions on media-player relations. (I know, I know, they don't care about what we do, etc. But they might be interested in knowing why certain things play out the way they do for their, uh, heroes.)
  4. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    This doesn't seem very cost-effective, marshalling all those staffers for something that might get seen by "thousands" and might or might not pull in enough revenue, while building (or not) brand loyalty that can (or cannot) be sold somehow.

    Then again, anything is cost-effective when you can just make people on the staff do it for no compensation and no reduction in their other duties. Up next: A Times sportswriter peeling a grape for one of the Blethen offspring.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Video just isn't worth it. I saw about 1,000 views combined between the two videos. How do you recoup the cost?
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Selling ads during the webcast. Hoping you build a big enough audience over time. Personally, I don't watch any pre game shows.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    These days, if you can make more money and let people keep their jobs, I'm for it.
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    But does video make money anywhere? I don't have a problem with reporters doing video, but in most cases there is no or not enough revenue coming in to make it worthwhile.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    In terms of revenue, you can't really justify a print paper Monday through Thursday.
    At most places, Friday, Saturday and Sunday account for 82 percent of all ad revenue.
    So thinking in terms of revenue doesn't always work.
    Building a brand, working out the kinks with the online version, then maybe you buy TV/radio time from one of the local stations and then sell the advertising. Then you have a product that generates decent to great revenue.
    That's the way to go and I wonder if that is what Seattle is thinking...
  10. batboy

    batboy New Member

    Thanks oscar, that's the kind of thing I was wondering about. Where the line is and whether papers will have to move closer to it in order to transform and stay profitable. But like others keep pointing out, I wonder where the profits are?
  11. I'd like to think we don't have to keep crossing over that line to stay profitable. Because if we do, everyone might as well get corporate jobs, stop pretending and make real money anyway.

    Unfortunately, the people running things have been selling out what we do for a while and will continue to do so. But maybe it is at that point. Or maybe people just need to stand up and be stronger and smarter, starting at the top.

    What we do is valuable. Show people that. There's a million places for people to get some rah-rah stuff for their favorite team. But real thought, analysis and insight is much harder to come by. Of course, the scary truth might be not enough people care or want that any more ...

    Watching Larry Stone get booed for straying from the pep rally vibe for a fair criticism was sobering, no doubt.
  12. We've been doing live broadcasts before college football games and other big events for quite a while now. Our sports editor and columnists do a live roundtable show every week. Because of ad sponsorships, all of our video work has been extremely profitable.
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