A Change Of Focus

By TSM

 

Happy Saturday to one and all!

 

We've heard your complaints, and I think Mike has fixed the plagued comment system.

Once again, sports radio seems to be the issue of choice here, but let's check in on another format shall we?

Before either of us rate the current newspaper scribes let's discuss some issues and then I'd love to hear your comments:

You know, back in the day my mornings started with Tom Rivers and the morning show on 680 CFTR long before there was sports radio (590 was a news station that my mom listened to, much to my displeasure).

I'd then make my way downstairs, and Erik Thomas would be yapping sports on 680 and I'd yank the sports page from the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star from the kitchen table.

When I got to the Eglinton subway station I'd buy the Toronto Sun and head on the bus to school (in search of Donato's bird)

For the record we are taking late 70's and early to mid 80's here.

The point being, newspapers were the dominant way to get your sports news. (yes around that time I also had Sportsline on Global- YES GUY) but newspapers were the form dujour.

A little while later my eldest brother, away at college told us that one day people would stop reading physical papers and we would be reading them on our computers. My parents and grandparents had a good laugh at that I can tell you.

Meanwhile, fast forward several generations later and the newspaper is going the way of the Edsle.

Sorry to the scribes that tune in here, but I am not telling you anything you don't know, the newspaper business as we knew it is all but dead. Even the hotel chains who used to put out a paper at every door have stopped that, on request only is the norm.

This is not to say there aren't some great reporters out there doing fine work.

The problem is that those who still subscribe to a paper are aging faster than their eyes and the younger kids have 0 interest in physical news.

My son, nearly 14 and all of his peers both in Canada and the USA have no interest. Forget buying, they don't even read them online. Sports news in their world is now delivered via Snaptchat, Instagram or Youtube.

Those of us in the middle? We've been trained on free.

While the brains out there were convinced that free model would replace the subscription model in ad revenue, well….never mind. It has not happened. Save for the New York Times, which still really struggles in digital revenue (compared to the hight of subscriptions) not one outlet has thrived. You can't giveth and then take away.

Addict us with free and good luck charging later.

I still to this day read a ton of online papers (that aren't behind paywalls).

I still get much information from the scribes who write for the electronic dailies. If I am not in a hotel I don't read physical papers.

So, as Toronto sports fans I have questions for you:

Do you read any physical newspapers on a regular basis?

By regular I mean at least 5/7 days per week.

If so, do they get delivered to you? Do you grab them on the subway?

If you pick them up (as opposed to delivery) how loyal to a paper(s) are you?

Did you grow up with a specific paper(s) delivered to your house and you've kept with it, or do you, have you changed?

If you don't subscribe, is there anything the publications could do to get you to subscribe? Is it a money thing? Is there a price that is so low that you'd buy it?

Me? I think the papers have made a huge mistake not following the Texture app model that the magazine industry has built. I would pay $9.99 a month for unlimited access to all the papers digitally. The papers are so busy trying to kill each other they've missed a huge opportunity to join forces and make some money and grow audience.

Each of the Toronto outlets are in various stages of circling the drain. Note all the layoffs/forced retirements of late.

How do you think the transition from current world to tomorrow goes? How long is the runway? Which paper is first to go, which is last?

Now, the guts: Without bashing the obvious writers (Simmons and Cox etc) please share who's work you enjoy reading. I am serious, I don't want the negative (and I will delete the negative posts).

I'm curious who's work (physical or online) you really like and why.

Sun, Star, Globe and Post, who are your favorite sports writers and why?

 I am happy to host a who do you hate the most post at a later date, but I am curious for those who actually do read the scribes, who do you like and why?

Happy Saturday, and may the Blue Jays pull out of this swoon and soon.

Jonah

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