Life in the Slow Lane

January 5, 2009

Color me disappointed …

Filed under: Life,News — pauljlane @ 12:58 pm

… that the New York Times – the pinnacle of American print journalism – has been forced to sell front-page advertisements.

Sure, papers such as mine that are small have done so for some time. But the Times selling space on the front – once considered ground more sacred than Mecca, where only the NEWS that was fit to print was printed – is a sure sign that this industry is nearing death.

The reaction here in the newsroom is the same for everyone – “WOW!” followed by a sigh of disappointment, then the gravity of the situation setting in. If the Times has to sell front-page ads to survive, how long will it be until the newspaper as a whole is dead?

This is a sad day for anyone who still reads or appreciates newspapers, which offer the only true journalism out there, unlike the TV newscasts that rehash the headlines they read in yesterday’s paper or the radio shows that then recycle the TV “news.” Biased? Yes, but an appreciation for actual news-gathering is why I gave up a broadcasting to go into a then-uncertain print career to begin with.

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For its part, here’s what CBS had to say on the matter:

“This high impact placement represents an exciting new opportunity for our advertisers to reach our educated, affluent and influential readers across the country,” said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer for The New York Times Media Group.  “With a weekday readership of 2.8 million and a Sunday readership of 4.2 million, The New York Times is the largest seven-day newspaper in the United States.”

“It’s exciting that CBS is kicking off The New York Times’s inaugural front page ad,” said George Schweitzer, President, CBS Marketing Group.  “America’s most watched network will clearly have one of the most read ads — and we value this new means of prominently showcasing our valuable media properties.”

Hockey ratings stay strong on NBC

Filed under: Sports,Television — pauljlane @ 12:49 pm
By The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

Ratings for last week’s second Winter Classic NBC were up 12 percent from a year ago, which might soon prompt the National Hockey League to officially announce that the outdoor game will become an annual event.

With a 2.9 rating and 6 share during the afternoon on a holiday – andwhen airing against major college bowl games – the NHL would be wise to keep this game going. Year one in Buffalo was great as far as the game and the atmostphere, and while year two in Chicago lost a bit in terms of ambiance (Wrigley didn’t seem very well suited for the game) the high scoring 6-4 affair still made for good viewing.

Seeing as the NHL is unlikely to put the Winter Classic in Canada (NBC can’t draw ratings from Canada, so a Canadian team probably won’t even be considered as the road opponent), that does cap the potential host sites. Aside from making the first two road teams hosts (Pittsburgh and Detroit), the new Yankee Stadium in new York might make for a good site, as would Gillette Stadium near Boston (Fenway park would be horrible for hockey), any number of sites in Philadelphia and even one of the outdoor stadiums in Denver.

The NHL could easily get an eight- or 10-city rotation going, ensuring that the game wouldn’t suffer from diluted interest in any market yet that every northern city that would care about the game could see it. No city with an NHL team would refuse to host the game, either. C’mon, Gary Bettman, this is an easy decision to make.

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Following is the release from NBC:

NHL Winter Classic 2009, broadcast New Year’s Day on NBC from historic Wrigley Field, earned a 2.9 overnight rating and a 6 share (1-4:15 p.m. ET), the best overnight NHL regular season rating in nearly 13 years (Feb. 3, 1996 on Fox, six-game regional, 3.0/7) and a 12 percent increase over last year’s inaugural event (2.6/5, 1-4:45 p.m. ET). The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the second U.S. outdoor game in NHL history.

“Year one was an extraordinary experience. Year two was the establishment of what promises to be a great tradition,” said NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer.

Top 10 Metered Markets:
1. Chicago 11.8/21
2. Detroit 10.5/20
3. Buffalo 10.1/20
4. St. Louis 5.3/10
5. Pittsburgh 4.4/8
6. Denver 4.2/10
7. Providence 3.5/7
8. Indianapolis 3.4/6
9. West Palm Beach 3.3/6
10. Orlando 3.2/5

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