Thursday, September 13, 2007

Feast Or Famine

It's a truism of the news business (and a cliche as well) that it's either feast or famine. We've been following the story of the New England Patriots allegedly "spying" on the New York Jets during their season-opening game last Sunday.

NFL security caught a Patriots cameraman taping the hand signals one of the other team's coaches was making during the game.

Yesterday, we had some meat in that Pats coach Bill Belichick issued a statement apologizing to his team and others for the entire incident. It's amazing what you can do to stretch a two sentence statement into an entire story. I'm sure the Pats organization labored over it too.

Today, however, the station didn't do much to follow the story in the early hours and it was a relatively quiet news day. We were scratching around for some new content to post on the Web site, always a priority because the conventional wisdom and research indicates that people check the site all through the day to see if there are any new stories posted. We are constantly feeding a voracious beast that is never satiated. Then, at night when I go to the gym, all the TV sets are showing the "old" news of the day ... stuff we've given people all day long. And the TV folks are scratching their heads at why Nielson numbers show a declining television news audience all across the board.

Like the newspaper industry, television has to re-invent itself or die, or just do with a much smaller piece of the pie. Maybe at the network level they've been thinking about that, but I think they're eons behind where they need to be. It's intresting to be here in my industry at this place and time.

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