Friday, November 14, 2008

AP sports editors air it out

Some bon mots from the recent Atlantic Coast region meeting of AP sports editors:

Tim Wheatley, the Baltimore Sun sports editor, brought up the idea of a la carte charging, paying for what newspapers actually use. That's because larger newspaper are charged more than smaller newspapers, but smaller newspapers use more AP content, on average.

Said Wheatley: "What you cover, I cover or don't have room for. What you don't cover, we need."


It was a provocative discussion, with [AP's managing editor sports, entertainment and multimedia Lou] Ferrara frequently repeating one line: "We serve more than one master."

Ferrara acknowledged that the AP has "pissed off a lot of newspapers" with the increased rates – which have since been suspended. He later said: "It's a weird time for this conversation."

Said Virginian Pilot sports editor Colleen McDaniel: "I don't think it's a weird time. It's the economic climate we are in."


"It's the lack of talent that's the problem. We all are now doing less with less," Ronnie Ramos

– Ramos has just 14 full-time writers for a city of 5 million people. He's lost terrific talent through the recent years and not been able to fill it with equal talent, if he's been able to fill positions at all.

"Sometimes, we are creating content to generate more revenue. How do we make more money?" – The State SE Rick Millians

– The State has created GoGamecocks magazine and started two Web sites to try to generate more money. It's a departure that we all are getting used to. We no longer have to worry only about the content. At times, we have to worry about selling it.

On the Charlotte-Raleigh sports staff merger

"It has not been easy. For any of us to say that would be wrong. ... The merger has been great for all involved. It has given us more freedom to do what we want. ... It's given us a lot of reporting muscle." – Mike Persinger

"We all share one thing: We don't want to screw this up. ... This works for us. This isn't for everybody." – Gary Schwab, now the senior editor in charge of Charlotte and Raleigh

"This was like the Cowboys and the Redskins. I would never imagine working with them. ... I would never have thought this would happen, and I didn't want it. But it's been the best thing that's happened." – Charlotte deputy sports editor Harry Pickett

"This is not just better for the company. It's better for readers." – Steve Ruinsky, Raleigh deputy sports editor

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