Newspapers doing radio (and TV)

I just listened an interview that Mark Ramsey did with a couple of guys from the San Diego Union-Tribune (runs 17 min). Twenty minutes ago I’d have described Ron James and Marc Balanky as newspapers guys. Now, I’ll call them media guys.

And they’re gearing up to do what we used to call radio (and, eventually, TV). A couple of things they said jumped out at me:

"We have a newsroom that works 24 hours a day" and "…we have more than 300 reporters."

I flashed on all the empty or near-empty radio newsrooms out there. These guys are serious as a heart attack and I’d be damned worried if I were "just" a radio station in that market. On the other hand, if you aren’t already well down the road to being more than just a radio station, don’t sweat it. Squeeze what you can from old Bossie and remember the good times.

4 thoughts on “Newspapers doing radio (and TV)

  1. Today we had the radio on in the car, and my son noticed the song “Money for Nothing” includes the line, “…gotta move these color TVs.” And he didn’t know why they used the phrase “color TVs.” I had to explain that there used to be black-and-white TVs. His question made my wife and I realize the phrase “color TV” is essentially obsolete, because 99.9% of TVs are color.
    I think the idea of identifying news outlets by the medium “they know best” will also seem a little strange to our kids. They’ll identify them by the stories they tell, and the skill of that story-telling. Some outlets might specialize in video; some in audio; some in text. But when the bandwidth is big enough everywhere — and it will be — the distribution distinction break down, and any outlet can tell its stories in any form.
    So yeah, for now, we go to the newspaper for text, and to the TV station for video, and to the radio station for audio. But those are artificial distinctions based on the scarcity of printing presses and FCC licenses: scarcities that matter less as the Internet matures.

  2. I’m under the impression that most “really good print magazines/newspapers/radio[TV]stations” already have websites.
    I will listen to the interview.

  3. “news/media distribution services should stick to the medium they know best for their main distribution and use the other forms [of media] to compliment the story.”
    Listen to Mark Ramsey’s interview with “the newspaper guys,” if you haven’t. I get the impression they will bring good reporting skills to any medium they choose to tell the story.
    Following your reasoning, a really good print magazine doesn’t need to mess with a website. They can stick to the medium “they know best.” I don’t think so.

  4. I agree that people in the news/media business should learn to distribute their product through different “venues” or types of media. However, I find it frustrating as a consumer of information when I’m on, let’s say, a newspaper website and get only video of a particular story. I’m on the newspaper’s site to read the news. If the author/editor feels that audio/video would help or compliment the story then “let’s go to the video tape!”
    I guess what I’m saying is that news/media distribution services (for lack of a better term) should stick to the medium they know best for their main distribution and use the other forms [of media] to compliment the story.

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