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Sporting News ... Sold

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    You can trace the demise of TSN to their abandonment of writing in favor of graphics and data. Once upon a time, you could read it for hours and its pages introduced you to writers from all around the country. In recent years it's been hard to look at for more than five minutes, and they seem proud of their lack of content.
  2. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    C'mon. Who hasn't abandoned "writing" for "graphics"? Even newspapers have. The Sporting News's problem is the same problem it's had for 54 years. It never wanted to spend the money necessary to be SI.
  3. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Who is served by a discussion of a middle reliever's new grip on his change-up? People care about the results. If it's helping him pitch much better, it's noteworthy that he credits that for the improvement. If that improvement makes it more likely the team might be willing to trade its closer, it's noteworthy. But, aside from Leo Mazzone, who gives a rat's ass about the actual detailed mechanics of the change?
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    You could make the same arguement about NFL-related stories that focus on the finer points of the Cover 2 defense but that doesn't stop papers and magazines from throwing out stories like that.
  5. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    At their peril, sportswriters increasingly ignore the truth there exist people who actually care more about how the games are played than about who can write the loudest.
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    There's a difference between explaining how a scheme has helped a team succeed and detailing the nuts and bolts of how a scheme works.

    If a writer turned in a story that spent more than one or two grafs explaining the x's and o's of the Cover 2, I'd kick it back to him with instructions to make it relevant to readers.
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    It's not even about being loud. It's about being entertaining and informative and -- above all -- relevant.

    The reason TSN found its "see a different game" niche is no one was interested in boring people with those details. The reason TSN has been flopping around like a dying fish for the last decade is not enough people care about its chosen focus.
  8. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    Although I've been a subscriber on and off for the last few years, my interest started to decrease when they felt for a while that they needed to be the political conscience of sports. I got tired of Richard Lapchick's preaching every week.

    "They seem proud of their lack of content," seems to be the best line.

    USA Today's Sports Weekly seems to have taken over the role TSN had _ with all of the stats and notes.
  9. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The amazing thing is, for all the nothing in the current TSN, it still has 700,000 subscribers, slightly more than before Spink sold it to Times-Mirror. And it had real content then. If ESPN ze Mag hadn't shown up, it would still be No. 2 in its niche behind SI and probably have far more advertising. Agencies might go 1-2 in markets to cover the intended audience, but rarely do they go 1-2-3.
  10. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Lapchick is gone. Hasn't been in the magazine in probably five years. Not really relevant.
  11. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    I know he hasn't been there for a while. That's why I started subscribing again. I just thought that was when it started going downhill.
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    You can buy a 60-issue subscription to TSN for $4.99. In that context, maintaining a subscriber base probably isn't quite as amazing.

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