Less and less demand for traditional sports writers

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  • #43753
    Brian Walton
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    I have been part of the audience for video pushes from higher-ups from multiple organizations. The demographics of those who like to watch video trend younger. Younger is typically what advertisers are targeting. They spend their ad money to reach their target market segments.

    So it is not driven by customer preference as much as by what the business believes will maximize their advertising revenue.

    If/when advertisers stop paying premium rates for video ads, the sites like FOX will drop video like a hot potato and rush off to embrace the next new trend.

    #43754
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    But the catch is video only isn’t really proving to be that great for FoxSports as they are not only losing web traffic but also video impressions. Video content is useful but video only isn’t going to work in my opinion. I might be wrong but I don’t I am.

    I find it weird that the market for baseball writers has been more exciting this off season than the actual players market.

    #43756
    Brian Walton
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    Well, you are right that if FOX’s traffic trends way down, video could have been a losing decision. But the ad rates between standard articles and video are very different – not close at all. Further, this takes time to play out and for the cause and effect of traffic changes to be analyzed. There are always a number of changes going on concurrently.

    To take a different course, it often requires changes at the very top of an organization, as these overconfident executives often refuse to admit their business strategy is flawed. Instead, they feel they had the wrong people to execute the plan – so they fire the old and bring in the new, burning another year or more, only to fail again. Trust me, I’ve seen it first-hand.

    The only hot place for writers right now seems to be The Atlantic. The ESPNs and FOXes, along with newspapers, all continue to trend down. The Atlantic is scooping them up.

    #43766
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    Well Jay Jaffe is heading to FanGraphs. That was a big move in my opinion. I love Jay’s HOF analysis.

    I feel like I need a spreadsheet just to keep up.

    Ken Rosenthal unlocked this article talking about The Athletic’s expanded MLB coverage:

    https://theathletic.com/234988/2018/02/13/rosenthal-welcome-to-our-expanded-coverage-of-major-league-baseball/

    #43782
    Brian Walton
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    Yes, Jay joined Fangraphs, but likely because SI is among those cutting back. Eno Sarris, a really, really smart guy, is among those who left Fangraphs – for The Atlantic. So there you go!

    #43784
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    Which brings up my mention of needing a spreadsheet to keep track of the moves. 😉

    #44490
    Brian Walton
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    My guess was right. Mark Saxon has been hired by The Atlantic to be their Cardinals beat reporter. A natural fit. For those who may not know him, Mark is an experienced sportswriter who was transferred to St. Louis by ESPN, only to get laid off the next year, as ESPN pulled back from local coverage.

    #45038
    Brian Walton
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    As long as they have investment money coming in, The Athletic is going to continue to grow. I still am wondering how they can become self-sustaining to enable them to pay all that talent based on subscription revenue. I have seen similar pitches in a number of settings in the past. It does not generally go as planned/hoped.

    #45053
    bicyclemike
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    It would seem to be a niche market, with the Athletic being the one publication filling the need.

    #46103
    Brian Walton
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    #46599
    Brian Walton
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    Free access to the Post-Dispatch has been significantly tightened.

    https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/03/27/post-dispatch-tightens-paywall-blocks-ad-blockers

    #47470
    Brian Walton
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    Derrick Goold explains why the P-D’s website is going the pay route. Looks like we are approaching a time in which the in-house vehicle, MLB.com, will be the only source of free beat reports.

    #50794
    Brian Walton
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    More bad news. I got to know Dave Wilhelm on the Cardinals beat and found him to be genuine.

    #58422
    Brian Walton
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    Add FanRag (terrible name) to the long list of new media companies that made big hiring splashes, only to lose money, then undertake a series of job cuts and eventually close its virtual doors. They sold some of their assets, including Jon Heyman, to a company I had never heard of, Fancred.

    Interesting that FanRag’s (recently renamed to FRS) CEO Craig Amazeen headed Scout as it became insolvent and was sold via bankruptcy court to CBS early in 2017. Guess he is becoming a shutdown specialist.

    Fancred acquires FRS Sports (ex-FanRag)’s core assets, including Jon Heyman, but most FRS jobs eliminated with shutdown

    #59265
    Brian Walton
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    Interesting twitter dialogue over the past 24 hours started by Bernie Miklasz. He began by accusing the local media of being afflicted with “Stockholm Syndrome”, while expressing relief he no longer has to participate.

    Since the most promiment place he no longer works is the Post-Dispatch, it was assumed they were at least a part of his less-than-flattering reference.

    After Derrick Goold responded, Miklasz called “the market a little bit soft” and said he (Bernie) has been “part of the problem”. Miklasz also stated his respect for (beat writers) Goold, Jen Langosch and Mark Saxon. Jen has been a regular on his radio shows and he and Saxon are co-workers at The Athletic. He then dodged those who asked him to name those he was being critical of.

    Miklasz went on to point out the team monitors what is being written and spoken about them.

    https://twitter.com/miklasz

    #61690
    Brian Walton
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    Many jobs lost at the NY Daily News directly affecting baseball coverage.

    #64155
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    CariocaCardinal
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    Here is some “inside baseball” about sports reporting though it is college football oriented. Fair amount of stuff about contracts and layoffs of sports reporters.

    https://deadspin.com/how-espn-ended-up-paying-brett-mcmurphy-to-post-the-yea-1828089258

    #72220
    Brian Walton
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    ESPN lets Jerry Crasnick go and hires Jeff Passan away from Yahoo.

    https://nypost.com/2018/10/11/espn-poaches-yahoo-star-as-its-new-schefter-of-baseball/

    #78484
    Brian Walton
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    A sign of the times? (The Athletic article)

    #78485
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    14NyquisT
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    Quite honestly, I can understand why his guy is delivering packages.

    #79952
    Brian Walton
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    Jen Langosch is stepping down as beat writer for MLB.com. Her maternity replacement, Joe Trezza, already took the job covering the Orioles.

    #79953
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    This stinks it happened after Trezza already took the assignment for the Orioles beat. Is Craig Mish on the market? He already has a large following Cardinal following on twitter.

    #79957
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    Robert Reed
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    Good for her, she’ll be missed. She offered informed and highly readable reportage throughout her tenure, by gosh.

    #80140
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    14NyquisT
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    I thought that Trezza was by far the better of the two.

    He may be kicking himself. Let’s see the Baltimore Orioles OR the St. Louis Cardinals? (holding one’s palms out in a measuring motion).

    However…. this is a huge opportunity for all the guys here. A chance to really make your opinions matter, since the manager and GM spots are taken. 🙂
    THIS IS REAL!!!!!
    ****************************************************************************************
    Beat Reporter – St. Louis Cardinals
    at MLB.com (View all jobs)
    St. Louis, MO
    We are searching for a beat reporter to cover the St. Louis Cardinals. The reporter would cover Spring Training, the regular season, any postseason games as well as the Winter Meetings. We want someone who’s a baseball nut, but also appreciates the lighter side of the game and is inclusive of the casual fan, who can think and write quickly and accurately, and is intuitive about which types of content will resonate. Being open to feedback, direction and new approaches on how to over a Major League Baseball team is a must.

    Responsibilities include:

    Building and developing trusted sources in the organization
    Writing news, game recaps, analysis and feature content
    Reacting quickly and accurately during breaking news
    Augmenting content with photos, videos and a social media presence
    Communicating proactively with content teammates and managers
    Qualifications include:

    Excellent writing and self-editing skills
    Ability to juggle multiple responsibilities on deadline
    Thorough knowledge of baseball and statistics
    Obsessive about accuracy
    Sound news judgment
    Social media savvy
    Experience with content management systems and web publishing a plus
    Basic HTML and Photoshop skills a plus
    Must be available nights and weekends
    *****************************************************************************
    That last qualification is the deal breaker, and that savvy thingy rules out most.

    #80162
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    Robert Reed
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    Thanks for the heads-up, Ny. I think I’ll look into this.
    Obsessive about accuracy, that’s me all over!

    On the other hand, I don’t really possess any social media savvy whatsoever. I’m not particularly open to direction or feedback from others. I don’t know anything about baseball’s lighter side, and I couldn’t care less about casual fans. Who needs casual fans? I can’t relate to casual fans.

    I’m also no good at reacting quickly, objectively self-editing, working on deadline for demanding bosses, or juggling numerous responsibilities like so many chainsaws. And I won’t work weekends or nights.

    Maybe I’m not the best choice.

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