Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Before We Reach 2011

There are a couple of things to pass along ...

The University of Georgia has an opening for a Sport Management faculty position. It's at either the Assistant or Associate level and you can find more information here.

And add Ferris State University to the growing list of schools adding a new undergraduate Sports Communication program. The program includes a Sports Communication minor, certificate or Communication major concentration starting Fall 2011. For more information, contact:

Sandra L. "Sandy" Alspach, Ph.D., Professor/Sports Communication, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI 49307; (o) 231-591-2779, (f) 231-591-2188.

Friday, December 24, 2010

From Everyone at JSM ...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Had to Post This

A friend sent this to me, and it's simply too good not to share. It doesn't specifically pertain to sports broadcasting, but I think it should be required viewing of anyone considering going into sports television or TV news:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Talkin' 'bout my (video) generation

Want more proof that we live in a 24/7, instant access world, especially in sports media?

1) Check out the video from YouTube on the Florida high school player who got tossed from the game (and then school) for assaulting a ref. We all shake our heads and say, "How could this happen?," but the video already has more than 100,000 hits and is one of the most popular sports entries of the day. YouTube exposure only encourages more outrageous behavior from those who want their 15 seconds of fame (or infamy). It's also no surprise at all that the video came from someone in the stands. In a certain way, YouTube has also become the electronic policeman at sporting events, especially on the local level.

2) Unbeaten TCU doesn't have a chance to meet Oregon for the BCS championship, but the Frogs will give the Ducks a run for the most hideous uniforms. TCU unveiled its Rose Bowl uniforms, which are unique in several ways, most notably in that they have the school colors only in the socks and shoes. For some reason, schools that rarely play on the big stage feel like they have to make a huge splash for the TV audience, and Nike seems to be behind most of it. Here's hoping that Wisconsin comes out in the Rose Bowl with its simple red and white.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pony Show

ESPN's "30 for 30" series of documentaries continues to impress, especially the latest installment which focused on the Death Penalty given to SMU's football program in 1987.

ESPN interviewed both Eric Dickerson and Craig James for their reactions, which in the case of James is a conflict of interest. James works at ESPN as a college football analyst. For the record, both men denied ever receiving anything improper from SMU boosters, which is almost laughable given the fact that every single former SMU player interviewed for the program admitted to receiving money.

The film also made the interesting point that media competition may have been SMU's undoing. In the mid-1980s Dallas was still a two-newspaper town, and the Times-Herald waged a furious war with the Morning News to see who could be the first one to expose the scandal (the Times Herald ceased publication in 1991). Local television also played a major role, as WFAA aired an interview with former player David Stanley that proved to be the smoking gun.

In 1986, 47 U.S. cities had two or more separately owned newspapers that were not chain-owned or newspaper operations in which the two newspapers were owned by the same company, a number that had declined to 20 by 2000; that number continues to shrink in a tough media economy.

Could SMU "get away with it" today in one-newspaper Dallas? Even without two newspapers, there is still plenty of media competition in the Metroplex, especially now from bloggers and citizen journalists. Someone, somewhere would have found out the truth (or rumor) about SMU and posted it on the Internet. It took nearly a decade for the 'traditional' media to find out the truth about the Mustangs' football excess; it probably wouldn't take near as long in today's cyber-media.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

That's W for Women

It appears ESPN is making serious efforts to reach out to female audience members with the introduction of espnW. The network is taking baby steps online, but hopes to eventually expand to television, which could mean a channel dedicated to women's sports. “They’ve made the commitment," said women's sports advocate and former tennis great Billie Jean King. “I don’t think there’s ever been this much planning, research and commitment before.”

Two points about the ESPN effort--1) it seems to confirm recent research by myself and Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer that found that for people who consume a lot of sports (more than three hours per day), women actually consume more than men. In other words, the perceived difference between men and women--the difference upon which televised sports is based--is at the low end of the consumption scale. Of people who say they consume a lot of sports, women are not that much different than men. Dr. Sheffer and I recommended reexamining this traditionally ignored segment of the sports audience, which espnW seems trying to do.

2) But not everyone is on board with the execution, including women. According to the New York Times, some of the harshest critics are female sports bloggers, who said the attempt to market a female-friendly version of ESPN smacked of condescension and segregation. Laura Gentile, the vice president of espnW, was quoted by USA Today this month describing the effort as “where we talk about women finding self-esteem in sports and about getting a pedicure.” “For those of us that have worked really hard to keep up with the boys, that’s kind of tough to hear,” said Julie DiCaro, the author of a Cubs fan blog. She wrote a post this month titled, “Why I Hate the Idea of espnW” and noted, “It seems like this is the broadcasting equivalent of making something pink and putting sparkles on it,” she said.

Almost everyone views the female audience as a huge, untapped resource. The big question remains--what is the best way to reach women? Although no one has a good answer right now, at least give ESPN credit for trying.

Friday, December 03, 2010

CoSIDA Newsletter

Clay Stoldt at Wichita State passed this along, and it really seems like a great tool for sports researchers, teachers and scholars. It's the continuing education e-newsletter for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The newsletter has links to current industry issues and problems, and Clay says he's been incorporating some of the material into his classroom.

If you're interested in receiving the newsletter on a regular basis, there's a link about halfway down on the right side. Just click on "Join our Mailing List." Or you can just click here.