Posts for media

On The Media Slaughtering That Happened Today

Kyle Scott - October 30, 2015

See, here’s what I think most of people don’t get about online media: people don’t like words. At least, not as much as the people who write them do. Grantland, which ESPN shut down today, churned out fine work. But even as someone who sits at his computer all day and whose job it is to read about sports, I find it difficult to read more than one or two pieces of the length Grantland often produced. People have lives, things to do. Generally speaking, news and commentary is a distraction or mild form of entertainment. So for every lengthy piece that is too interesting to pass up, there are 10 pieces that are boring as shit, bordering on self-indulgent. I follow a lot of journalists on Twitter, and too often you’ll see a Tweet like this: Just an exquisite piece from [insert writer you’ve never heard of] about the downfall of the individual scorekeeper and how data has replaced a once manual process. That could be a terrific piece, but, honestly, who has time to read it?

It’s not fair if it loses money for the outlet paying them.

What’s made sites like Buzzfeed, Deadspin, or even the oft-self-indulgent Verge so successful is that they complement the long-form stuff with stuff that gets clicks and makes money– short, readable posts, lists or other forms of entertainment. The reasons why sitcoms are more promoted than news programs and morning shows have #buzzy segments surrounding political segments are the same reasons why Buzzfeed has 20 lists for every hardcore news story. The entertaining stuff makes the money and allows them to do the smarter stuff. [The same way my one-sentence post about the GameDay truck being parked at Home Depot, which took me less than a minute to write, will get three times as many views as this post, which will take about 30.] Too often, journalists think they work for non-profits.

Grantland had too many words. Readers Paul and Justin nailed it:

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Grantland thought they were too good for the former (generally speaking). And though I’m not sure they failed to consider the latter, the fact is that 50% of readership these days comes from mobile devices. You need to have content people can read while waiting in line at Starbucks, or waiting for a table, to support the stuff they read while taking a shit. Of course, losing Bill Simmons, the ultimate shitter scribe, doesn’t help.

For years, newspapers could get away with charging extreme advertising rates because they were one of the only games in town. If you were a car dealer and wanted to reach a lot of people, newspapers and TV were the ways to do it. Classified ads printed money for papers, until Craigslist came along. With the rise of the web, advertisers could be smarter and more efficient about how they spent their money. They could actually track conversions. And though you can’t always put a price on a branding premium, it became easy for sponsors to see that newspapers were, largely, ripping them off. [As an ad sales rep for the Inquirer and Daily News, we were instructed to tell advertisers that up to three people read each copy of the paper, which was, obviously, complete bullshit.] This problem was compounded by declining circulation. Newspapers, too, suffered from some of the same stuffy problems that plagued Grantland – I can assure you that an Inquirer reporter thinks they are better than just about any other local writer whose publication actually makes money – which means they were fighting a two-pronged battle: often-uninteresting content combined with a dying medium (business model).

So, maybe, the merging of the Inquirer and Daily News, and the “suspension” of Grantland, will lead some to finally acknowledge that there’s a place for both the smart stuff and the entertaining stuff. Because often, the entertaining stuff pays for the smart stuff. Ergo, here’s a picture of the girls of CBS 3 and one of their lucky coworkers:

Media Notes: 97.5 Morning Show Starts Monday, NBC 10 Has a New Sheena

Kyle Scott - April 17, 2015

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Goooooooooooooooooooooood morning everrrrrrrrybody, is what Anthony Gargano will probably say at some hellish hour Monday morning. His new live and local morning show – which seems to be a thing lately! – with co-host Jon Marks, airing from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m., will be the first legitimate direct competition the WIP Morning Show has ever had.

Since certain local media outlets and big-headed hosts just completely ignored this fact, it’s worth pointing out that we broke the news on Monday and have been writing about the potential of a Gargano-led 97.5 morning show since December, and more concretely since January. Plans weren’t finalized until just a week or two ago. I’m told staff was informed of the move at a meeting last Friday, when Gargano walked into a conference room to applause.

Gargano and Marks will be joined by Maureen Williams, who, curiously, has no known on-air experience (and has Josh Innes making not-so-subtle insinuations). Jamie Lynch, better known as Silent Bro when he produced Afternoons at WIP, will produce the show… and probably won’t be so silent anymore.

That image was sent out by a 97.5 ad sales rep. On Tuesday, advertisers or potential advertisers, it appears, will be welcomed to the studio to meet the new crew.

97.5’s lineup will be as follows:

6-10: Morning Show

10-2: Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander

2-6: Mike Missanelli

6-10: Joe DeCamara

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pic from Jessica’s Facebook

That there is NBC 10’s new Sheena Parveen traffic girl, Jessica Boyington, formerly of CBS Philly, oh, and of New Jersey. Jessica is a former Miss New Jersey. And, well, I think NBC 10 has found their type:

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I see what you’re doing, NBC 10. I see it. Remember, girls, left elbow-lean pose:

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[Editor’s note: No Sheenas were harmed in the hiring of this reporter. She’s still with NBC 10.]

This Really Grinds My Gears

Kyle Scott - August 25, 2014

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This drives me nuts.

You see this sort of thing a lot from weather and other local news pepople like Siri Bill Henley, who insist on teasing their on-air spots or giving you easily-available-online-information like it’s a public service of some sort. Examples:

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Nothing against Brian Seltzer – I’m sure his SportsCenter update was great – since he’s not the only one to do this, but his Tweet, as wells as all of these, are completely useless. THE WEB, as a medium, is consumer focused. It doesn’t care about what you have to promote. It’s a free-roam democracy in every sense of the word. Sort of like how video games in the late-90s introduced the open-world concept, where you could go anywhere, do anything, and not play the game in a linear series of checkpoints defined by some other being. Old school, mainstream media is the platform gamer, presenting information when and how it wants. The Internet is Super Mario 64 (or, if you prefer, Grand Theft Auto)– go wherever you want, mostly in whatever order you want. Point is: Media folks pretending like they’re the gatekeeper of some great, secret factoid that only they can distribute is as tone-deaf as it is pointless. It’s silly to think that someone who’s connected enough to be using Twitter would really feel the need to tune in for an exclusive weather report, score update, or coach’s quote. I’m all for promoting genuinely interesting or unique things online (if 97.5 tweeted about an upcoming interview for Lenny Dykstra, for example), but tweeting a silly teaser for something that could be found by a simple Google search is just a waste of time. It’s the same idea as when a reporter or news outlet Tweets a widely available factoid and acts as if they’re your only source of this cherised information:

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Sans 140-character limit, here’s another way to rewrite Seltzer’s Tweet: If you’re not in your car listening (and, really, why would you be since you’re reading this right now?), see if you can find an old in-home radio or go to our website and launch the live player (but make sure you have flash installed first!), because we’re going to play for you audio of a comment a football coach made to dozens of reporters which you could just Google in the time that it takes you to tune in.

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I’d estimate that preciesely no one tuned in solely to hear the SportsCenter update. Or turned on NBC 10 to see Hurricane’s weather report instead of just going here. Or has ever interacted with a Bill Henley Tweet. I don’t know. Am I an astute observer? Am I an asshole? Tune in tonight at 11 to find out… or, just Google it.

UPDATE: This is what I’m talking about:

These are Some Reasons Why Adam Aron was Fired

Kyle Scott - June 24, 2013

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I wrote this post back in March, after Adam Aron went on a strange media tour in which he explained why the Sixers were so bad. I detailed the many reasons why I thought he was doing a terrible job as CEO, and as it turns out, I’m a goddamned soothsayer. So, given the news that he’s been fired, I figured, “Hey, why expend any energy when I can just use an old post, change the title and call it a day?” That’s what I’m doing. These are the reasons why I think Aron will now be looking for a distressed cruise line (perhaps this one?) to steer back to a prosperous port.


I’ve had enough.

Adam Aron keeps saying that he views fans as unpaid management consultants, thousands of passionate followers that give solicited and unsolicited opinions on each decision made by the newish Sixers ownership group. So, knowing that, consider this post free advice to Aron. Consultant’s fee waived.

Aron went on a mini media tour yesterday, first speaking with John Gonzalez at CSN Philly and then to an in-studio visit with Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, where he took calls from exactly the type of enraged hardos that would wait on hold for an hour to yell at an owner.

For Aron, it took balls. I’ll say that much.

I think it was somewhat overkill– the Sixers are in the midst of a losing season, but they didn’t sacrifice a small child in front of their 12,000 fans. A Rock Center-style sit-down with a charged up Gonzo and an hour and 20-minute-plus in-studio appearance with Missanelli felt like a bit much at this juncture. But, I’ll give Aron credit for taking the lumps, like he always does. He attached his face to the franchise, and he’s not backing down now that the going has gotten tough. Then again, Aron is a millionaire businessman who made a name for himself managing distressed entertainment properties back to health, so tough is a relative word here.

What we’ve seen in the year and a half since Aron, majority owner Joshua Harris and their nasally drones* have taken over the team is a series of alarming and somewhat offensive missteps that make you wonder if they nose know what they’re doing.

*Is it just me or do the Sixers have the second most nasally ownership (hello, Mark Cuban) in the NBA? Can’t they get an Afrin sponsorship or something? Hell, their mascot could even be a big nose that sneezes when the Sixers make a three. 

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time on these missteps on the site, so I’ll just touch on some of Aron’s accomplishments since taking over the team, with links for further reading:

Mascots. A moose, a dogg and Jerry Sandusky. These were the options Jim Henson’s Creature Shop came back with and that the Sixers, in turn, released to the public. That was more than a year ago, and the Sixers are still without a mascot.

Confetti. Perhaps the most noticeable in-game enhancement has been the confetti that ejaculates itself after each home win. Because the Sixers are a circus act. Or because it worked on a cruise line that Aron oversaw.

PA announcer. The Sixers get a da fuck? rating here. They turned Matt Cord into the website video interview guy (a role filled by interns at most professional sports organizations) and brought back 842-year-old Tom Lamaine to liven things up at the Well. A year later, they canned Lamaine, held an audition SO YOU CAN BE THE NEXT SIXERS PA ANNOUNCER (!!!)… and then went with Cord all over again. Fans are mad about many things, but I think this is the thing that should be investigated for false advertising. First off, who the hell makes a seasoned pro like Cord compete against jacklefucks to win back his old job? Second, DON’T DANGLE A STICK IN FRONT OF JACKLEFUCKS FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT! The jacklefuck don’t like that. Did any of the auditioners ever really have a chance, or was this just some ruse by the Sixers to make it seem like you, the fan, could be part of the product? Because if it was the latter, I’d suggest holding an open audition to be the team’s center. Surely there is someone in Philadelphia who can pull down more than one rebound per game at the NBA level.

Ayla Brown. She’s pretty. Great pipes. Good singer, too. But she’s a former American Idol contestant from Boston whose father, Scott Brown, was (at the time of her hire) a Massachusetts Senator. Never mind that Harris’ company owns the rights to 19 Entertainment and American Idol, one Boston website lays out a great case that the reason Brown got the anthemeist gig with the Sixers was because, at the time, Harris needed support from then-Senator Brown to pave the way for a casino project that one of his companies, Caesars Entertainment, was bidding for in Boston. [Brown is out of office, but it sounds like Caesars is still in the running].

Cannon. The Sixers most productive offseason acquisition has been a giant cannon that shoots hundreds of t-shirts per minute.

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Even P.T. Barnum is impressed with the absurdity of that list. Confetti, cannons, probably rigged contests? At what point will there be a bunch of near cross-dressers injecting artificial enthusiasm?

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Ah shit.

Now let’s turn our attention to some select comments made by Aron yesterday, because my BS meter is having a mild freakout.

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Yes, Please

Kyle Scott - June 24, 2013

Female reporter drops a fuck me on the air. Love the coolness of the anchor who has to transition from an expletive-filled report on strawberries to US-Taliban relations. Local newseseses, FTW!

via The School Philly

Villainous Russian Goalie Lambastes Philly Media

Kyle Scott - April 29, 2013

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That’s Flyers PR man Zack Hill trying hard to hold back a smile

There’s always those scenes in blockbuster movies where the antagonist – Raoul in Skyfall and pretty much every Batman bad guy ever are examples – obnoxiously grandstands about his or her principles (while failing to mention their own shortcomings…) just before meeting their ultimate fate, which is death or banishment.

That was Ilya Bryzgalov yesterday.

In his thick, perfect-Bond-bad-guy accent, Bryz ripped the media for lousy reporting, citing ethics and the greater good as reasons to be better scriptuals. In his mind, he may not be the hero Philly deserves, but he’s the one it needs. Go:

“You guys just here to blame someone, but you never look yourself in the mirror, right? You’re always good, you never make the mistakes. Your article’s always perfect. But in reality, what have you done for this city, if you ask yourself? What have you done? Ask yourself that question. Besides only criticize. Well, not much.”

“Need to be fair, need to see the whole picture. It’s easy to criticize…  it’s tough to find something good.”

“Sometimes it’s just ridiculous. Sometimes you reading and it’s like, oh my God, who’s this lunatic you’re writing about? Because it was nothing close to the truth or close to related to hockey. You read this, and it’s like, oh my God, I got to deal with these people everyday. Like I said before– before you write something, you got to read what you’re writing. Because I never saw it. I’m two years here, I never saw it like for two years– good article, with, like, Flyers lose the game because this, this, this, this this. They need to improve their team, like this, this, this or this. I’ve never. That’s what you call professionalism. That’s where you can say: OK, this reporter knows hockey, he knows what he’s talking about.”

“I [read] a lot [of articles]. We have some clips in the locker room pretty much everyday. I read a lot, believe me.”

Hard facts, then: Bryz had a 2.79 goals-against average (36th in the league) and a .900 save percentage (43rd in the league).

Unfortunately, Bryz may be too busy ranting to notice a stealthy Paul Holmgren perched in a ventilation duct above with a shotgun and an amnesty exemption.

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John Harbaugh was Scared of Philly Media

Kyle Scott - January 30, 2013

John Harbaugh, coaching the Ravens in the Super Bowl against his brother’s 49ers, in case you haven’t heard, spoke with reporters in New Orleans today and made this crack about his time as Eagles special teams coach:

Not sure if that’s because of the ferociousness with which they cover the team… or because of this series of hostage videos from Rob Charry on YouTube.

Highlights and Audio from Andy Reid’s Conference Call with Local Media

Kyle Scott - January 7, 2013

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Before speaking with the Philly media, Andy Reid met with reporters in Kansas City. As you can see, putting Reid in bar chair without a table in front of him was a bad idea.


Still working on that time management thing.

Andy Reid – I’m guessing somewhat reluctantly – met with the Philly media today via conference call. He was late. The call was supposed to begin at 4 p.m., but it was pushed back to 4:30 so Reid could continue to receive pleasantries from local media in Kansas City. And you know, it’s almost as if the delay was intentional– to just one last time get under the skin of local scriptuals. Which he did. But thankfully Howard Eskin was on the line to tell everyone to relax.

Some highlights from the edited audio, which you will find after the jump:

The first minute is the sound of irritated scriptuals and Howard Eskin complaining about the wait.

1:10 Howard Eskin takes a swipe at phone system in Kansas City (the call was on Free Conference Call).

1:15– Eskin asks why it took a week to talk to the Philadelphia media. Reid: “I just thought there was a time and place.” 

That place is, apparently, on a shitty conference line with an annoying metronome from 1,000 miles away. 

Reid mentions that he didn't want to address it right after the game… which is strange, because he supposedly wasn't fired until Monday, which – and I'm not good at math here – was a day after the Eagles' last game.

2:52– Reid asked about how he was treated by the fans. Reid: “The fans, they care. And that’s all that matters to me. I didn’t care if they were chanting my name in a negative way or a good way.” 

3:20– Reid asked why he didn’t take out an ad in the newspaper or a billboard. Reid said he was using this chance to talk to all media, knowing how closely fans follow through said media. Reid: “You can’t put a billboard in every part of the city. And I don’t know how many people read the newspapers anymore. They read the Internet.”

Zinger to hardened scriptuals– nice. But I think Reid is misunderstanding the fact that an ad in even one newspaper would be blasted all over local media– radio, TV and, yes, the interwebs. Of course, if he wants to take out an ad on CB and make up for all the dollars he cost me by NOT HAVING A PLAYOFF WIN TO COVER, he can be my guest. 

4:24– Still owns home, hasn’t sold it.

4:30– Les Bowen continues to haunt Reid, even in Kansas City. Bowen asks about Jeffrey Lurie’s comments that Howie Roseman handled only the 2012 draft and didn’t have final say prior to that. A good question. Reid hints that there was a divide there: “I think the most important thing… everybody has got to be pulling in the same direction. When that gets out of whack, bad things happen.”

5:48– Reid is pressed on that issue by Paul Jolovich, WHO SCREAMS A GOOD FOLLOW UP at Reid: “Listen, I’m not getting into all that. Those are just things you learn from and you move on.” 


6:00Fin. A cacophony of hang up alerts usher out the Reid era like soldiers firing their weapons to salute a fallen comrade.

Audio after the jump.

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