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What in the world is going on in Cleveland???

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wordguru, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. wordguru

    wordguru New Member

    Heard all the stories going on and saw the thread about the price increase...But has anybody heard what happened to their Olympic coverage? I heard they pulled everybody out and didn't let them get on the plane....Their web site is full of other papers' stuff and their one local guy has a story about a local athlete staying the village with quotes from her via email...

    What the hell is going on there? How stupid can they be? Everybody else is in Beijing and the PD's Sports Editor is the APSE's Olympics guru. They look like fools
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    SI Newhouse has a housepayment due. Times are tough all over.
  3. rockville

    rockville New Member

    Olympics coverage was once in the plans, but then was taken out of the plans. Considering the state of the biz, I'm not sure that not being in China makes anyone looks like fools. It was disappointing, but I think it's hard to argue with prioritizing travel money for hometown and homestate beats.

    And we weren't handing over our boarding passes at the gate when the decision was made.

    Doug Lesmerises, The Plain Dealer
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    If it comes down to not sending staffers to Beijing or more layoffs, choose the former. Every time.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    So one newspaper in the struggling Newhouse chain made a wise decision while the "flagship" in New Jersey is planning to layoff/buyout 200 people but has 5 people in Beijing.

    God bless the Plain Dealer.
  6. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    The executive editor made the 11th-hour decision. She panicked over the latest budget news from the publisher.
  7. Smart move by the EE. Let AP flood the paper with Olympic news.
  8. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not.

    It's a smart move if you made the decision before buying airplane tickets and paying for housing. Dumb-ass move if you lose thousands of dollars on each cancellation. Be smart in the first place when you're in the worst budget period in newspaper history.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    So people in Cleveland cannot tell the difference between AP and the Plain Dealer's own staff? Why bother with a staff at all?
    Look, anyone who thinks not covering the Olympics will save ONE job is kidding themselves. But as pure marketing, this is dumb. There are people, mainly economically OK women of all ages, who are very into the Olympics and not necessarily into sports. They are potential customers. Except in Cleveland, they're not.
    You cannot save money, or jobs, or anything else, by giving your customers less product. I guarantee that in the long run this decision will cost the Plain Dealer more than it saves.
    This is a site devoted to sports journalism. The first rule of sports is, if you don't want to compete, get the hell off the field. That works for business, too.
  10. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    That's why I hadda laugh on Chicago sports talk radio yesterday when the host said no one cared about the Olympics. Really, then why does NBC pay through the ass for it and get about 10-20 million viewers a night based on what's on?

    As for Cleveland, however, it does make budget sense. Unfortunately, in this "less is more" world it also makes the product less relevant.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    For all of the captains of industry and business masterminds that have barged into journalism, generally drooling over the traditional profit margin, you would think that brilliant marketing would necessarily be part of their game plan.

    But no. It's cut, cut, cut in a panic to preserve, now in many cases merely find, the profits.

    I think it's stupid to staff the Olympics in a fat, '90s, whistling past the graveyard way (five people from Newark?). But if you just shrink your product, you're going to shrink your audience. These joints should be promoting the special moments and highlights of their coverage, and the Olympics surely ranks. Then again, they should be touting their ace reporters, writers and shooters, too -- but they already have bought out or laid off far too many of them. And let's be honest, most newsroom managers don't have the acumen and confidence to hire, foster and tolerate the personalities that often go with the top talent. They feel safer with the nodders and the brown-nosers, and just label them "stars."

    At this point, it's moot. They're giving readers inferior product already, so a big marketing push now would be like selling snake oil.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    It's weird. From what I've seen of the current generation of editors and managing editors, they are somewhat more willing to accept prima donna attitudes from the chosen ones over peripheral things (like not having their stuff really edited) but a lot less tolerant of disagreement over news judgment, ethics, broader philosophy of what gets covered and what doesn't. Because they receive little validation from readers, they require it from the staff. Newsrooms are totalitarian compared with 25 years ago. It's more "1984" than it was in 1984. And it ruins the product.
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