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Seeking Advice: Dealing with foolishness coming back from vacation

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by silvershadow1981, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. So as I've been out of the office since 08/07, I finally return to the office tomorrow morning, pretty much ready to go about my normal business. However, I get a call from my editor this evening at home, saying that she wanted to give me a warning in advance that the publisher/owner has seen fit to appoint a new ad rep (replacing the previous guy, who is very ill), and they've come up with this plan to "beef up" the high school football coverage for our paper.

    Now as the only sports reporter on staff (might as well call myself sports editor), There's no way I can get to four different games on a Friday night (we have four high schools in our coverage area), but they want coverage for all the games and apparently this new ad guy wants to sell ads based around a football tab.

    So I'm really pissed off because I get the sense this guy is going to be telling me what to cover and when to cover it, when I've managed just nicely handling the sports section on my own for just about two years. So what do you all think I should do in this situation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    Tell him to boost up your stringer budget (if you have one that is). You obviously cant be in 4 places at once so if he wants them all covered, he'll have to dig in his pocket to pay for some stringers. If I were you, I would still go to the game that I felt was most important and give that game the primary coverage. Leave the rest to the stringers. Also, tell the higher-ups that you'll need more space for your section to accomodate all the extra byline stories.

    Faced a similar situation once. Our paper hired a girl to incorporate online video during the online video boom. She knew NOTHING about sports and tried to tell all the sports guys what she wanted to see in the videos and it was completely impossible given the size of our staff. She wanted us to shoot video and cover games at the same time. Right, like you can shoot video and keep football stats and notes at the same time and then get a story AND highlight video online by deadline that night. Ooookaaaaaaaay.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    You can do it. But the quality suffers big-time.
  4. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    What will likely wind up happening is the ad rep won't be able to sell any ads.

    And it's back to status quo.

    If she does bring in lots of new revenue somehow, that's when you ask for a stringer budget.

    When ad reps get involved, it can be really annoying. That's how Podunk's football tab became an all high school sports tab.

    Reps swore they couldn't sell it without getting all sports involved.

    Like the masses care about high school volleyball.
  5. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    Or cross country. Or soccer. Or tennis.

    Football is treated specially because it is special.

    Gee, a publisher/ad rep coming up with a plan and not consulting the sports guy? What a shock... not.

    In all seriousness... Talk with your editor and explain the situation. You either need some stringers, or it doesn't work.

    Or the ad guy becomes a part-time sportswriter... :D
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I'd look at it as a positive, but explain that if you're going to beef up the section you'll have to beef up the staff. And maybe it's just me, but the best ideas from editors seem to come just past the point of giving staff enough time to do a good job on them.
  7. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    mid-august and they decide to do a football tab?
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Wow, the ad rep has an idea to sell ads around a football-based product called a "tab". Why didn't anyone think of this before? It sounds so simple.

    Let the guy sell ads for a few weeks and see he even gets close to making it worthwhile. The same thing happens at my shop and the reporters are willing to do their part, but for some reason, there isn't enough ad sales or marketing.

    I have yet to see the Web site or the paper marketed in anything except the Chamber newsletter. I have yet to see anyone wanting to advertise in the videos that I shoot in the community. It's bullshit that the content people are expected to provide the product while the other departments can skate by.
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Yeah, really. First thing you should tell them is to communicate with you, not TO you, about things like this that involve you.

    Then mention you'll be glad to cover four teams when the stringer budget is increased. Otherwise, one person can't be in four places.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I'd shoot the messenger and save time. Your editor needs to go.
  11. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Hey, the editor is helping here by passing along the news that the publisher's guy has an idea. Better that than to get blindsided by it on Monday morning.
  12. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Whatever you do, don't let them corner you into thinking that you can simply sit in the office and call the four area coaches after the game.

    If that happens, kindly explain to them that the way the real world works is..... HS game starts at 7 p.m., gets over at 9 p.m. By the time the coaches leave the field/lockeroom and board the bus, it's 9:30 p.m., by the time they get back to the school, it's 10-10:15p.m. By the time they close up shop and see to it that all the kids are taken care of/have rides home, it's 11 p.m. By the time they want to call you...it's the next day...at best.
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