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Who'd you rather: Rivals vs. Newspaper

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Thanks for comin' out, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. We were having a conversation in the newsroom about this a couple days ago: How do you compare a job at a mid-sized paper with a major D-I job at a Rivals/Scout site?

    Most of us agreed that, all things ($) being equal, the newspaper job is better because of the prestige, the objectivity, etc. vs. websites that carry the fanboy reputation.

    But what if it was 10 percent more money on Rivals/Scout? 20 percent? When would it be enough to jump off the paper and onto one of those sites? One guy said he'd jump ship for the same money because of job security online. Another said he wouldn't leave because he thinks a jump back into print would be impossible down the road.

    I know I'm painting broad strokes here - it goes without saying that some details would be case by case - but I'm just curious how everyone else compares the two.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    "Job security online" is a laughable concept, simply because of all the shakeouts we've seen on that side over the last 15 years.

    Yeah, I know, newspaper job security isn't nearly what it was. But I have plenty of friends who got mashed by AOL and Dr. Koop.com and so on and so on and scoobie doobie doo. So I'm still uneasy about the magic pixie fairy dust of online jobs, especially those attached (mainly) to recruiting.
  3. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    What job am I doing at the newspaper? I would truly loath covering recruiting, but I imagine covering college football and basketball could have an edge over some types of newspaper work.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Newspapers don't have you sign a two- or three-year contract.

    Online doesn't drop you at the drop of a stock price.
  5. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I don't remember hearing of any Rivals beat writers getting laid off. Doesn't mean it won't happen in the future, but I don't think it's happened much, if at all, yet. But as for the original question, it depends on the Rivals site and the paper. Not all Rivals team sites are created equal, nor all mid-sized newspapers.

    I used to be a beat writer for BCS-conference school's Rivals site. I covered the teams, not much recruiting. My situation was a little different than some because I worked for a small publishing company that produced "fan mags" and had a contract to also run the Rivals sites for some of the same schools, so I didn't answer to Rivals bosses in Nashville. I approached the beat the same way I would have at a newspaper, except for the obvious differences between Web and print. I certainly wasn't a homer or fan boy. I didn't even like the team I covered.

    Four years ago I left that job. We moved for my wife's career and I took a job as the sports editor at a small daily. Over the next couple of years several guys who had good beat jobs at mid-size to big papers, the kinds of jobs I always wanted when I got into the business, moved to Rivals.com sites. I saw that and wondered more than once if I took a step backward. Last year my paper went to a regional copy desk and they wanted to move me there. I took a buyout instead and started freelancing full time. I have little doubt I could have stayed at that Rivals.com job as long as I wanted.
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    This is the single funniest thing I will read all weekend.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    Yes, a one-trick pony is never a good stable career move. The NCAA decides to ramp up restrictions in recruiting or some such thing and you're job becomes non existent or at the least much more difficult. Not to mention all the "recruiting"-type blogs & sites that are popping up.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    If it were Rivals, which is backed by Yahoo! and doing well, then absolutely I'd rather cover college sports and (begrudgingly) recruiting than be the preps writer for a 50K-100K.

    If it were Scout, well, that site's not going to last very much longer. At least not with full-time paid staffers.
  9. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Major Rivals sites pull in a lot more cash for their employees than pretty much any newspaper with a circulation under 50K. I also assume Chip Brown is making more now than he was at the DMN.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Like anything else, there are great Rivals site and horrible Rivals sites. Would I rather work at Orangebloods.com over the Austin paper? Of course. Some of these sites throw a ton of money at the best beat writer and immediately become the place you have to go for news. Other places hire the prep writer from the college town who was never quite good enough to get the college beat.
  11. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Is it even doing that now?
  12. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    The worst are the site publishers who don't do squat and instead of covering the game on a Saturday, get drunk during the tailgate and watch the game from the stands.
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