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Monday, July 23, 2018

New York Daily News layoffs: Which sports writers are out?

It was a dark Monday in the journalism world as the New York Daily News laid off roughly half of its newsroom, including a number of talented and popular sportswriters..Per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, the Daily News cut its sports staff from 34 employees down to just nine.

John Harper is probably the best known name.

NattyBoh Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:32 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, new york, newspapers, sportswriters

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5714509)
Isola, Harper, and Botte are the best-known names.

their Yankees beat guy is in Tampa, and got the News before the game tonight. #stayclassy
   2. PreservedFish Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5714513)
their Yankees beat guy is in Tampa, and got the News before the game tonight. #stayclassy


Would it be classier to fire the first 24 guys all at once, and then fire him when he got home from the road trip?
   3. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5714514)
their Yankees beat guy is in Tampa, and got the News before the game tonight. #stayclassy


There's never a good time to fire or lay someone off. The pressure is on the paper. If that guy is any good he'll land on his feet either with his own content or with an outfit like the Athletic.
   4. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5714543)
Mike Lupica still has a job?
   5. . . . . . . Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5714603)
It’s still kind of amazing how worthless - in the monetary sense - good journalism is. But I have a second hand knowledge of the business, and print journalism is right there with “repairing CRT televisions” in terms of crafts that are objectively impressive but that no one values enough to pay for.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5714614)
But I have a second hand knowledge of the business, and print journalism is right there with “repairing CRT televisions” in terms of crafts that are objectively impressive but that no one values enough to pay for.


I have first-hand knowledge, and you're absolutely correct.
   7. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:26 PM (#5714617)
It’s still kind of amazing how worthless - in the monetary sense - good journalism is. But I have a second hand knowledge of the business, and print journalism is right there with “repairing CRT televisions” in terms of crafts that are objectively impressive but that no one values enough to pay for.


IDK... The margins are certainly thin - and I'm not going full Deadspin here, but Tronc has rather rapidly developed a reputation as a "print-to-digital" strip and flip operation. Add to that the non-insignificant cost of buying out Ferro.

I don't disagree with the general idea that the market isn't what it once was - but it's not entirely happening in a vacuum absent other conditions.

   8. . . . . . . Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5714657)
But Tronc paid a buck and assumed liabilities. Basically, the business was worthless net of restructuring costs - and the business was one of the big 3 papers in by far the largest market in the country!

I personally would (and do) pay for real journalism - it’s worth it to me not to experience some millennial dumbshit learning on the job in real-time. But Deadspin is a great example - they’ll give you for free the finest 25 year old aspiring journalists in the land. And it sort of sucks, but it’s not bad enough for most folks to justify spending a buck on the News, with a better sports section and real beat writers but which also sort of sucks too, in its own way.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 24, 2018 at 07:52 AM (#5714687)
It's a real problem. There is reason to be genuinely troubled by the inability of news outlets to make money and be able to pay quality journalists that goes beyond sports media. I'm as guilty as the next guy of being happy to read the stuff I can for free and not paying for media but while it doesn't really matter when it comes to sports there are larger topics out there that need a watchdog.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5714694)
I've said it before: There are but three daily newspapers left in the country with enough subscribers who are deep pocketed enough to pay for the product they're receiving.

The Washington Post is owned by the richest man on the planet.

The New York Times is privately owned and currently turning a profit.

And Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal.

All three have an international and wealthy readership that recognizes the value of good journalism.

AFAICT they're the only three out there with this combination of advantages.

The only wild cards I can see here are how long the current boom for the first two will last after Trump is gone, and in the case of the WSJ, how devoted Murdoch's heirs will be to maintaining the quality of the paper.
   11. NattyBoh Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:13 AM (#5714697)
The writeup for Monday's Yankees games was courtesy of AP.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:27 AM (#5714701)
Someone posted imgages this morning on twitter of today's edition of the Daily News. They covered both the Yankees and Mets games with articles by a star reporter named "The Associated Press".
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:45 AM (#5714705)
The writeup for Monday's Yankees games was courtesy of AP.

That seems like a dumb choice. A paper like the News should source basically all its national and international news from the wire services; no way is the News going to have cutting edge coverage of the Trump-Putin conference. But, the local stuff is where you can differentiate yourself. Crime. Sports. Local politics. Restaurants and entertainment.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5714711)
the choices that newspaper executives make are based on nothing other than ensuring that their bonuses kick in again. to think otherwise is naivete cubed.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5714718)
Thanks to the wonders of capitalism the news media has never been more accurate and thought-provokong.
   16. Rally Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5714719)
But I have a second hand knowledge of the business, and print journalism is right there with “repairing CRT televisions” in terms of crafts that are objectively impressive but that no one values enough to pay for.


Most appliance repair falls into that category. Dishwasher has been acting up but if we call a service tech to come out and look at it we are halfway to the cost of a new dishwasher, before he even tells us what's wrong and gives us an estimate to fix it.
   17. Koot Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5714732)
Mike Lupica still has a job?


The lone reason I even clicked was to hopefully see that they fired Lupica.
   18. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5714745)
Which publications (newspaper, magazine, digital) provide the most value? My dad still gets the local paper, but it was never all that great and has now been whittled down to a few local columns plus the standard AP fare. The Enquirer here in Cincinnati is pretty thin. The Philadelphia Inquirer didn't impress me when I was living there either. My employer provides me with a digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal, which is fantastic. I would happily pay for a subscription myself. However, it doesn't make much sense to me to add a subscription to the New York Times or Washington Post. That seems like too much overlap. My girlfriend subscribes to an architectural magazine.

What other magazines (or newspapers) do you all recommend?
   19. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5714751)
Magazines seem to be doing OK, right? At least comparatively. It's not easy for the 24-year old blogger, or the CNN producer, to work up a New Yorker style profile, or a National Geographic quality essay. And magazines are full of tiny, playful little tidbits that match well with the declining American attention span.

Newspapers do a few different things. They are getting wrecked in one huge central responsibility -just reporting what happened. There's no fix for this. TV and internet are always going to win.

Another - deep important investigative journalism - cannot be easily done by television or internet. But even a paper like the Times can only produce so many of these. A small paper is lucky to produce a handful of them in a year, probably.
   20. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5714752)
But Tronc paid a buck and assumed liabilities. Basically, the business was worthless net of restructuring costs - and the business was one of the big 3 papers in by far the largest market in the country!


Sure - but my point is the "business", is more than just the journalists writing for the NYDN... bad investments, pension liabilities, debt load from the previous owner(s?), etc. To say nothing of the fact that I think NYC is the only city with three papers.

I'm not denying the underlying currents - and that it's obviously more than just the NYDN that has faced this problem over the last 10-15-20 years - rapid change with a direct impact on any industry is going to very quickly beat the crap out of all but the leanest and most forward-looking in any industry.

Nobody's getting GE for a buck (yet :-) - but you can look at a company like that and easily see how bad decisions can pile up and really put the company in a hole, even if it does still make a helluva lightbulb that people still need. I think I read recently (in a newspaper :-) that GE's most profitable division right now is its jet leasing... which is just so nuts and upside down.

I personally would (and do) pay for real journalism - it’s worth it to me not to experience some millennial dumbshit learning on the job in real-time. But Deadspin is a great example - they’ll give you for free the finest 25 year old aspiring journalists in the land. And it sort of sucks, but it’s not bad enough for most folks to justify spending a buck on the News, with a better sports section and real beat writers but which also sort of sucks too, in its own way.


There's certainly an argument to be made that good journalists cannot be graduated, only become such over time - but Columbia, IU, Medill, Missouri, etc still exist. They don't spend four years just monotonously drilling who, what, when, where into students.

In any case, were I bazillionare to spend on ideas/things that I cared about (and quality journalism is one of them) - I'd look to reform modern print journalism by:

1) Changing the revenue model to B2B... I wouldn't wholly abandon consumer subscriptions or ad revenue (though, I'd have to think about that one... per below), but I'd recognize that way is never going to be what it once was - certainly not in the near-term. Instead, look to steal from the wire services model -- and

2) Lots of carrots and sticks to the Deadspins of the world - opinionaters and aggregators who are essentially using our work product in exchange for little more than an attribution. Of course - fair use, the fact that you cannot exactly copyright news, yada yada - so I'll need some lawyers, but in effect, I'd be looking to force such entities into partnerships whereby they're giving me cuts of their revenue in exchange for potentially fuller reuse of my product.

3) Luring away journalists and analysts - but being very picky about it. I.e., the Robert Costas not the George Wills. I'd completely forsake opinion writing, at least initially. No room for it - not part of the brand I want to build. In the realm of something like sports, for example - snarksters need not apply... give me studies, data, and beat reporting.

4) Strategic acquisitions and mergers with publishing companies that are profitable - legal, professional, academic publishing. Thomson has made it work with Reuters. Bloomberg with BNA. Etc. What's more, there are a host of real - not catchphrase, but real - synergies to be had in this realm.

5) I might actually explore forgetting about the platform - i.e., print vs digital vs etc - altogether... instead, again with the B2B - selling the rights to publish. Obviously, there are print entities - advertising broadsheets, etc - that are profitable. Might they pay to wrap their ads around a varied menu of offerings? Maybe... at least, it's worth looking into.

6) Conversely/depending - I might also look at various systems of aggregation and synthesis... I.e., do I buy an interest in Sean's BBREF? In the realm of legal publishing, you also have services like Legal Zoom that are fairly successful - to say nothing of the fact that at the corporate/firm level, top dollar gets paid not just for analysis, but even rote aggregation and distribution of content that federal agencies publish for free (state level aggregation and services are even MORE profitable, but difficult to pull off).

7) Of course, this all means my focus - at least initially - is going to be heavy on national/international news... and light on local coverage. I'd dip my toes into local news markets - of course, sticking with major metro centers initially... perhaps some PoCs with contract work, freelancing, stringers, etc. Slowly bringing on full-time staff if it makes sense. Targeted product sale (i.e., again with the advertising broadsheets, etc).

...and of course, I'd be ready to operate deep in the red for near-term.

However, ultimately - I'd be looking to transform the journalistic product into a new revenue model... stop chasing the old dollars and just live with the reality of the digital age. Value propositions are not always simple A to B -- it may well be that journalism is a B in between an A and a C.

Long story short - I reject the idea that no one will pay for good journalism... they just will no longer pay via the traditional models. So, we need to find new models.
   21. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5714754)
What other magazines (or newspapers) do you all recommend?
I think Harper's is the best magazine I've ever read with any regularity. It definitely comes from a left-of-center political perspective, but even if you're not on board with them politically, there's some excellent and compelling writing there.

I don't always agree with them (sometimes I disagree strongly with their opinion writers on political issues) but I always feel like reading Harper's is worth my time and a couple bucks a month.
   22. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5714763)
When I was in college, I read 3 papers a day (Chicago Tribune, NYT, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and subscribed to probably a dozen magazines on a variety of topics.

Today, I have the NYT digital subscription, and that's it. I can get most magazines for free electronically through my local library, but I rarely if ever use that feature. If it's not coming to the house and piling up on my kitchen table, I tend to forget it exists.

I read the New Yorker for 25 years (subscribed in print), but I gave it up. Now it's 90% stories being written solely as a contest to see who's the most anti-Trump, who can scream the loudest about fascism, who can roll their eyes the most, who can rehash the most jokes. If I happen to think about it, I'll read the short story, but most weeks I don't even bother. I stopped the New York Review of Books and Harper's Magazine for the same reason. I'm sure some people like that stuff (hi OTP), but put me in the camp of people who would love to talk about something else for a while.

I did like getting McSweeney's Quarterly, but it's not really a "magazine", and I stopped when they skipped publication for about 2 years.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5714782)
I read the New Yorker for 25 years (subscribed in print), but I gave it up. Now it's 90% stories being written solely as a contest to see who's the most anti-Trump, who can scream the loudest about fascism, who can roll their eyes the most, who can rehash the most jokes.


I usually skip anything about politics. I usually skip the little one-page humor essay. I always skip the editorial. I feel like there's still more than enough worthy content in there. Anti-Trump content is really only about 20% of the magazine.

I do hate, and have always hated, the constant Barry Blitt covers. Ugly and humorless and superficial. I don't get it, I really don't. I heard a long interview with Remnick where he said that Blitt was our age's great political commentator.
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5714784)
Magazines seem to be doing OK, right? At least comparatively.


There's about 10-20 percent of the magazine industry left from when I got into the business about 25 years ago. Even the survivors have cut way back from what they used to do. Sports Illustrated quietly went from weekly to biweekly earlier this year; Rolling Stone just went from biweekly to monthly.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5714788)

There's about 10-20 percent of the magazine industry left from when I got into the business about 25 years ago. Even the survivors have cut way back from what they used to do. Sports Illustrated quietly went from weekly to biweekly earlier this year; Rolling Stone just went from biweekly to monthly.


These two examples seem more likely to be victimized than others, maybe?
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5714791)
What other magazines (or newspapers) do you all recommend?


Are you interested in the ins and outs of metal distribution?

   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5714797)
What other magazines (or newspapers) do you all recommend?

The New Yorker's got some very good feature articles, but much of it is just preaching to the choir, and I think there's a paywall that kicks in fairly quickly.

The Atlantic and Harper's have some good long read articles with a fair about of opinion diversity.

My personal favorite is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) website, which has a very good mix of their own articles and articles from other sources. The key here is that those other articles are very well chosen. You can also sign up for a free daily email that links to the best of what the day has to offer.

And at the risk of causing JE to reappear or David to pop a vein, I'd strongly recommend the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, which monitors hate groups and other right wing spokesmen and organizations better than any other site I know of. If nothing else, they've got the best set of enemies of any organization on the internet, and their findings are cited by pretty much every mainstream media organization this side of Fox News.

   28. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5714802)
Sports Illustrated quietly went from weekly to biweekly earlier this year; Rolling Stone just went from biweekly to monthly.


Huh. Two things I did not know.
   29. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5714821)
Industry's just brutal right now and a lot of those jobs just aren't ever coming back. Many of my colleagues have gone from full-time jobs to a bunch of smaller gigs cobbled together or simply leaving the industry. The basic problem is you have a lot more people that want to work in journalism than can be supported by the money in journalism. You run out of wealthy benefactors eventually; you're still playing a game of musical chairs.

Lots of people were shocked when Alex Mather of The Athletic talked about sucking talent dry from newspapers. But it's an honest take of where newspapers are right now; they death certificate isn't written, but most are definitely in hospice care. The internet has already seized most of the parts of newspapers, scooping up the sports, the politics, the classifieds, the advertising. Everyone likes to talk about local politics being important, but very few people actually care about local politics. Politics is effectively nationalized right now; people don't care about the local sewage treatment plant, they care about which president is making them mad or which president they're mad that other people are getting mad about.

Newspapers and magazines have massive overhead they can't really shed and while getting people to invest in good journalism sounds lovely and all, fewer and fewer of the big pockets actually see a payoff for their investment.

Nobody in the industry knows where they'll be in five years. I was fortunate enough to be able to weigh multiple job offers at better salaries when I switched jobs recently, but that's only because I have my own little lane. In five years I may be working my job, working a better job, or I may be out of the industry, consulting full-time or working in some PR capacity (yeah, the idea of the last is a little funny).
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5714827)
These two examples seem more likely to be victimized than others, maybe?


No. Even if you think sports and popular culture are uniquely threatened by the internet, at least those two are still alive. There have been magazines shuttered in every category, from men's magazines (Details) to women's magazines (Self) to shopping and fashion (Lucky) to travel (National Geographic Adventure) to design (Metropolitan Home) to cooking (Gourmet) to personal finance (Smart Money). Not to mention too many local magazines to count.
   31. Greg K Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5714833)
I enjoy The Economist . Though it's more like a weekly newspaper trapped in the body of a magazine [edit: in fact I'm pretty sure they self-identify as a newspaper]. Though, about once a month they'll have a special report that's usually pretty thorough on a given topic.

The sports coverage is a bit thin...though last month they had a fun piece on an alogarithm they created to predict how well country does at the World Cup (mostly based on size, wealth, and national popularity of soccer).
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5714834)
Belated proofreading for #27:

The Atlantic and Harper's have some good long read articles with a fair about amount of opinion diversity.
   33. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5714843)
Sports Illustrated quietly went from weekly to biweekly earlier this year


The yearly subscription is for 39 issues, so it has a biweekly schedule for regular issues, and 13 other "special" issues.
(NHL/MLB/NBA/NFL/NASCAR/MLS/whatever season previews, swimsuit edition, previews for other events (Olympics, World Cup), "Where are they now" issue, Year in Review, etc)
   34. dejarouehg Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5714860)
I received SI subscriptions as a gift and had no idea that they went from weekly to biweekly. I should have apologized to the mail carrier for losing my copy.

I mourn the loss of any paper. My mother used to tell her friends (although I never bought it) that I started reading the NY Times when I was 3. (She probably confused me with my older brother who is/was infinitely smarter.) Have always loved newspapers and always thought it was a real treat when my dad would bring home a paper from another city that he traveled to.

That said, I contributed to the loss by becoming a voracious reader of on-line sites. When the wife spent $5 on the Sunday Newsday, I nearly flipped.




   35. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5714870)

And at the risk of causing JE to reappear or David to pop a vein, I'd strongly recommend the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, which monitors hate groups and other right wing spokesmen and organizations better than any other site I know of. If nothing else, they've got the best set of enemies of any organization on the internet, and their findings are cited by pretty much every mainstream media organization this side of Fox News.


Q: Is there any thread Jolly won't try to turn into the politics thread?

A: No.
   36. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5714874)
I still have WSJ delivered to my home (includes digital subscription). I'll use my meager FF miles on rarely flown airlines to get a magazine or two. Bon Appetit and I still get Barron's for some reason, which I'm not sure why they are still printing issues. 90% of it is stale quotes/charts.

I've relied a lot more on industry publications over time, I guess Investors Business Daily (which is weekly) would be the least 'inside' of those publications. The rest are hard core inside industry websites.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5714880)
Still, Tom Nawrocki, 10-20% seems like an exaggeration. Maybe I'm wrong.
   38. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5714881)
Have always loved newspapers and always thought it was a real treat when my dad would bring home a paper from another city that he traveled to.

One of my favorite things about traveling was always going to the airport in another city and picking up a copy of the local paper. Different stories, different ads, even different comic strips. I don't do it anymore - my iPad has hundreds of books on it, plus free wifi at the airport gives me whatever I need news-wise.

It's been about 10 years since I stopped taking the daily newspaper, and I still sometimes miss the feel of leisurely leafing through the paper in the morning over breakfast. But the paper kept getting more and more expensive, as the content grew less and less. At some point it was impossible to justify keeping it up. It's $50/month now for the SF Chronicle home delivery, for information that's basically all free online in one form or another.
   39. QLE Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5714882)
Even if you think sports and popular culture are uniquely threatened by the internet, at least those two are still alive.


Quite, and that shows especially well looking at those categories- there's a large pile of music magazines that in this century have either died or become online-only*, and, in terms of sports, note that something as venerable as The Sporting News has been online-only for over half a decade now.

*= It also should be noted that online publications, even those that never were in print, similarly have had problems with financial stability- I've witnessed a couple of horror stories in these terms indirectly, and I suspect that many others here have more direct knowledge than I do.
   40. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5714887)
My sense from the outside (and via a number of friends I have in the business) is that journalism suffers from the fact that the big names (who are usually opinion columnists / talking heads) make a lot of money, but there's not much left for the guys grinding it out doing basic news coverage and analysis. Even though that unfortunately probably makes sense in terms of what consumers and advertisers are willing to pay for, it should be the opposite in terms of who provides actual societal value. And it creates terrible incentives, where too many journalists are trying to be the next Tom Friedman or whoever.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5714890)
A few years ago I took up on one of those SI offers of something like $39 a year for 52 issues. I then discovered that the front half of the magazine was indistinguishable from a hundred other rags, taken up with junk food filler that a 12 year old could've written. One year of that was enough.

I mourn the loss of any paper. My mother used to tell her friends (although I never bought it) that I started reading the NY Times when I was 3.

I learned how to read at that age when my parents read me the Sunday comics from the old NY Herald Tribune, and then had me repeat the words. I can't think of a better way to learn reading. I don't think the Times would've appealed to me then, and the first sports section I remember reading was the NY Daily News.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5714892)
One of my favorite things about traveling was always going to the airport in another city and picking up a copy of the local paper.

This reminds me of my father, who loves travel but is somehow also singularly uninterested in foreign cultures. He used to tell me that one of his favorite things was picking up a copy of the International Herald Tribune, which of course was mostly just a repackaged version of the NY Times, which he read every day at home.
   43. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5714903)
One of my favorite things about traveling was always going to the airport in another city and picking up a copy of the local paper.

And among the great cultural institutions of New York and Washington (and probably other cities) were the out-of-town newsstands that carried hundreds of papers from all over the world. My ex-GF and I were in New York during the week of Nixon's resignation, and over the next few days after he spit the bit we bought about 50 or 60 out-of-town papers from Massachusetts to Florida to Texas to California and most every point in between. We thought they'd wind up being great collector's items, but in the end I wound up getting all of a buck apiece for the lot of them in my book shop. Seems like we weren't the only ones who'd had that idea, and then along came ebay.
   44. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5714906)
This reminds me of my father, who loves travel but is somehow also singularly uninterested in foreign cultures. He used to tell me that one of his favorite things was picking up a copy of the International Herald Tribune, which of course was mostly just a repackaged version of the NY Times, which he read every day at home.

The first time I went to England it used to drive me crazy that the only source for baseball scores was that worthless and overpriced International Herald Tribune. And their coverage was so minimal that I was almost glad for the players' strike that lasted for all but the first week of my trip. The ####### New York Times has more ink devoted to soccer coverage on any given day than the English papers devoted to baseball in any given year.
   45. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5714917)
Still, Tom Nawrocki, 10-20% seems like an exaggeration. Maybe I'm wrong.


People don't realize how fat the magazine business was just 20 years ago. There was a magazine called The Industry Standard that covered Silicon Valley in the 1990s, and one of the editors told me they threw lavish open-bar parties once a month just because they couldn't think of enough ways to spend all the money that was coming in. It closed in 2001.
   46. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5714918)

And among the great cultural institutions of New York and Washington (and probably other cities) were the out-of-town newsstands that carried hundreds of papers from all over the world. My ex-GF and I were in New York during the week of Nixon's resignation, and over the next few days after he spit the bit we bought about 50 or 60 out-of-town papers from Massachusetts to Florida to Texas to California and most every point in between.

I believe Harvard Square's "Out of Town News" still exists, although as of 18 months ago its future was in question.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5714923)
When I was young I wanted to do the young Hunter S Thompson thing and get a job writing for a foreign English-language paper in Prague or something like that. I never did it because I was supremely unmotivated. I suspect that slice of the industry is as dead as the rest of it is.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5714925)
I believe Harvard Square's "Out of Town News" still exists, although as of 18 months ago its future was in question.

AFAIC the decline of Washington's Adams-Morgan neighborhood began around the time when the out-of-town newsstand at 18th & Columbia Road was closed to make way for some New Orleans gourmet kitchen.
   49. BrianBrianson Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5714930)
Long story short - I reject the idea that no one will pay for good journalism.


They will, but the standards are so low - and historically were so crazy low - that almost nothing qualifies. People will pay for journalism that's worth the price, but pretty much none of it is. Maybe consolidation will fix that? But the local paper where I live is (ads + PR releases + the kind of analysis I could get from my uncle after a couple mickies of Wiser's) - why would I pay for that?

Yeah, I read the paper a lot when I was ~10, but a) I was 10 and b) as a source of information, it's only alternative was TV news, which was way worse. Basically any news article I read when I'm aware of the truth is total junk, so I'm pretty skeptical of everything else.
   50. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5714969)
They will, but the standards are so low - and historically were so crazy low - that almost nothing qualifies. People will pay for journalism that's worth the price, but pretty much none of it is. Maybe consolidation will fix that? But the local paper where I live is (ads + PR releases + the kind of analysis I could get from my uncle after a couple mickies of Wiser's) - why would I pay for that?


But like I said - that's the problem, at least as I see it.

I think print journalism needs to stop trying to crack the nut of how to deliver their product directly to consumers... focus on the product.... sell the product to distribution channels.... let them figure out how to price it, monetize it directly to consumers, etc.

Obviously, this brings up a whole host of other issues... but it's where I would start.
   51. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5714987)
I recently listened to a podcast in which an author was discussing his sources for his baseball research (I can't remember the subject but it was in the early 1900's). He stated how he used several local newspapers to do his research. It wasn't just the facts but the details and the descriptions the writers provided within the newspapers.

The author/speaker then wondered what future researchers will do with the demise of newspapers and how a lot on the internet may be swept away over time.

It makes me think of the lost sports broadcasts which were recorded over by NBC. Since videotape was so expensive and NBC Sports was a division of NBC News a lot of history was recorded over to get the latest news. Because of this we are missing World Series and playoffs from the late 1960's and early 1970's.
   52. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5714994)
...the death of magazines ....don't get me started on Baseball America. I have two issues left to go in my subscription which I won't be renewing. It is hard to give up something I have been loyal and loving to since 1985. It took the place of the The Sporting News for me. But I don't feel I am quitting it as much as it has quit on me over the past couple years.
   53. Mark Edward Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5715004)
...the death of magazines ....don't get me started on Baseball America. I have two issues left to go in my subscription which I won't be renewing. It is hard to give up something I have been loyal and loving to since 1985. It took the place of the The Sporting News for me. But I don't feel I am quitting it as much as it has quit on me over the past couple years.


Interested to hear your experience with this. I had a BA subscription throughout most of the 2000's and overall I thought it was a pretty solid source of info. Loved their coverage of the minors and the business of minor league baseball, though I never got into the high school/college stuff. What's changed over the last few years?

   54. NattyBoh Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5715017)
There was a magazine called The Industry Standard that covered Silicon Valley in the 1990s, and one of the editors told me they threw lavish open-bar parties once a month just because they couldn't think of enough ways to spend all the money that was coming in. It closed in 2001.


I remember it quite well. It was a quality publication. I saved the last issue and had it framed along with my worthless stock options from a consulting firm that fired just about everyone and a form letter from a bankrupt employer indicating that there was nothing left to pay off its debts. I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren what grandpa did during the dot-com era.

Publishing was insane
   55. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5715023)
Mark - they cover very little of the minors anymore. The organizational reports are less informative. They don't even do all the teams - they alternate between AL and NL each issue. They no longer report on the leagues or classifications as a whole. No stats, league leaders or standings. Print space is compromised by big photos of players and by using bigger fonts in places. You can't follow teams, organizations or individual players anymore.

It is impossible to get a feel of what is going on in minor league baseball by just reading the paper. That was not the case years ago.

I am a college baseball fan and I used to look forward to the College Preview issue. It was usually one of the bigger issues of the year. Now the preseason coverage is reduced to about 10 pages and it involves a cover story of about 3-4 pages. I get better pre-season coverage from Collegiate Baseball.

The draft report cards are no longer done at the end of the season where they would evaluate the progress of the incoming players who signed.

That's a few things but I guess I am just nit-picking.



   56. dejarouehg Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5715122)
I miss the Baseball Digest. I use old copies of them, SI and Sport Magazine - as well as Album Covers from the 70's - to decorate the walls of my office.

It's easy for me to look back nostalgically on what great options we had back in the pre-internet days.

I wonder what the millenials will reflect on as the good old days.
   57. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5715129)
I wonder what the millenials will reflect on as the good old days.
That brief, sweet moment between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 7.
   58. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5715145)
I sort of lectured a millenial kid recently on the good old days of following college football recruiting. In the really old days, you had Street and Smith's, or Parade, if you wanted to see a list of top HS Seniors, then you had S&S plus guys like Bobby Burton, or Lemming. It was tough to mine for information, particularly when you were outside a captive college football market (southeast, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska). Now you can't watch espn without some recruiting news on the crawl. I still have many of those 70s/80s Street and Smith's college football previews.

The Courting of Marcus Dupree by Willie Morris is such a good book for so many different reasons. That's a great (true) story about how recruiting went down.
   59. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5715161)
I wonder what the millenials will reflect on as the good old days.


How they actually had to drive cars for a few years there.

How when they wanted to "unplug," it wasn't literal, unlike Generation iBrain.

With the speed of technology these days, they'll look like old fuddy duddy dinosaurs before we know it.
   60. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5715174)
I miss the Baseball Digest. I use old copies of them, SI and Sport Magazine - as well as Album Covers from the 70's - to decorate the walls of my office.

Baseball Digest was the second magazine I ever subscribed to as a kid (the first being National Geographic World, the NG version aimed at children). As a kid living in rural America with no cable TV and little in the way of baseball coverage, I counted the days to its arrival each month. I drove my mother crazy reading her stories, telling her jokes, etc. right out of the magazine.

And among the great cultural institutions of New York and Washington (and probably other cities) were the out-of-town newsstands that carried hundreds of papers from all over the world.

There was a nice old-style newsstand near me in SF - it carried national and international newspapers, as well as a wide variety of magazines on all topics. You could get the Racing Form, lottery tickets, cigars, and they had a little section in the back for adult magazines, cordoned off by a beaded curtain. For years I made a point of going there to buy my Sunday New York Times, and I usually picked up another magazine or two as well.

I moved a few years back and stopped going, and I was saddened to drive by a couple of months ago and see that it was gone, replaced by a place that sells boba tea.
   61. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5715181)
I still have my Baseball Digests and Street and Smith's. Baseball Digest was great for reading in school within a textbook.

Living in wintery Canada, the first sign of spring was dad coming home with the Street and Smith baseball preview. I remember always thinking that if I died and went to heaven it should be like Manny's Baseball Land (across from Yankee Stadium) or that the idea that "one baseball card is actually worth $1500!" - and that is the T206 Wagner they were talking about.

   62. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5715190)
I think Harper's is the best magazine I've ever read with any regularity. It definitely comes from a left-of-center political perspective, but even if you're not on board with them politically, there's some excellent and compelling writing there.

I don't always agree with them (sometimes I disagree strongly with their opinion writers on political issues) but I always feel like reading Harper's is worth my time and a couple bucks a month.


I used to read Harpers religiously while I was in college and for perhaps a decade beyond that. Lewis Lapham's monthly column was always something I looked forward to when I saw the new issue in my mailbox. Every now and again I'll grab a copy to read on an airplane but I read for enjoyment a fair bit less often as I did way back then.
   63. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5715202)
I miss the Baseball Digest. I use old copies of them, SI and Sport Magazine - as well as Album Covers from the 70's - to decorate the walls of my office


I used to work with a guy who used to decorate his apartment in his college days by taking the window promo stuff from a local record store when it got thrown out the back. He told me he had a wall strictly of XTC Drums and Wires posters which I thought would be awesome.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5715206)
I still have my Baseball Digests a

I kept a handful.
I also got Football, Basketball, Hockey and even Soccer Digest (Kyle Rote Jr was on the first cover, iirc)
   65. SandyRiver Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5715218)
My lasting memory of the otherwise fine Baseball Digest was an idiotic article about 55 years ago excoriating the change-up, with the thesis that making hitters "supply their own power" was bunk. That's true, but of course totally irrelevant. Not only did the writer completely ignore the meaning of the pitch's label, but he declared that Ralph Terry may have saved the Yankees in the 1962 WS by shaking off the change-up sign and going with the fastball. (The resulting McCovey bullet going straight at Bobby Richardson rather than 5 feet either side also played a part, though that was not mentioned.)
   66. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5715231)
The Courting of Marcus Dupree by Willie Morris is such a good book for so many different reasons.

Agreed--and Willie Morris was editor-in-chief of Harpers for far too short a time (1967-1971) when it was at its height
   67. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5715302)
My lasting memory of the otherwise fine Baseball Digest was an idiotic article

even as a kid, I knew that their "Riggs Stephenson belongs in the Hall of Fame" article was lame.

(Riggs was an LF-2B who had a lifetime AVG of .336.
he played in 1921-34, mostly for the Cubs, and hit 54 HR out of his 1,515 career hits.

sure, he only reached 400 AB four times and his career OPS+ was 129. but that era is so underrepresented in the HOF! and he finished as high as 7th in NL OPS+ - twice!)
   68. QLE Posted: July 24, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5715341)
even as a kid, I knew that their "Riggs Stephenson belongs in the Hall of Fame" article was lame.


It does serve as a nice demonstration as for how Frankie Frisch managed to cause chaos for decades to come- reduce HOF standards to a level where dozens of players from the same era could be feasible candidates, and people will emerge out of the woodwork on behalf of those players.
   69. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:32 PM (#5715406)
(Riggs was an LF-2B who had a lifetime AVG of .336.
he played in 1921-34, mostly for the Cubs, and hit 54 HR out of his 1,515 career hits.

sure, he only reached 400 AB four times and his career OPS+ was 129. but that era is so underrepresented in the HOF! and he finished as high as 7th in NL OPS+ - twice!)


I have no idea what current metrics say about his defense, but he also had a reputation as a bad fielder, with a very weak arm for an outfielder.
   70. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:42 PM (#5715413)
I used to read "Baseball Digest" as a teenager in the 1970s, and I always liked their "My Greatest Day in Baseball" articles (or whatever the series name was), because they usually featured older players whom I hadn't seen play, and it gave me a little bit of insight into them other than just reading stat lines in the Baseball Encyclopedia. I'm sure if I read those articles today I'd find them nothing special, but back then I enjoyed them.
   71. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:35 AM (#5715447)
I don't think anybody has recommended the Guardian yet. It's excellent and a non-profit. It still has very strong international coverage. Obviously its US focus is mainly national/international politics and culture. They have lots of longer stories, these are fairly often about the US as well. They recently had a strong series on the pipeline from US women's prisons to prostitution, a story I haven't seen any US paper tackle. Their coverage of culture is excellent, more and better coverage of jazz than even the NYT (the only paper left in the US that pays even a passing attention to jazz ... which is understandable).

The editorials of course have a leftist (even by Euro standards) bent and that flows over somewhat into the choice of topics covered at length -- more in that choice rather than biased reporting or mixing up reporting and opinion. So some of y'all won't like it but if you look past the opinion to the news, etc. it's generally quite good reporting. And even if you disagree with them, at least their opinion writers have a bit of flair in their writing.
   72. . . . . . . Posted: July 25, 2018 at 05:46 AM (#5715456)
I read the Guardian regularly, and it’s excellent, but I think you vastly understate its bias. I’ve never seen a ‘reported’ story that came to a conclusion, express or even implied, that dissented from the editorial slant.
   73. SandyRiver Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5715484)
even as a kid, I knew that their "Riggs Stephenson belongs in the Hall of Fame" article was lame.

(Riggs was an LF-2B who had a lifetime AVG of .336.
he played in 1921-34, mostly for the Cubs, and hit 54 HR out of his 1,515 career hits.

sure, he only reached 400 AB four times and his career OPS+ was 129. but that era is so underrepresented in the HOF! and he finished as high as 7th in NL OPS+ - twice!)

And if you let him in, you've got to elect Babe Herman as well - OPS+ 141 in 1,000 more PA, with some serious power. (And even worse with the glove!) AFAIK, Babe's the only guy who ever doubled into a double play.

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