Monday, April 11, 2005

'A Nameless Working Stiff in the TV Biz' Explains NCAA Timeouts

My recent columns, plus e-mail from savvy readers, have opened up plenty of interesting discussion on this rainy Monday.

Here’s some of it:


“The gentleman is kind of right about the extra timeouts. The way CBS
does things with the tournament is like this: They don't get to call
extra timeouts, but they get to USE more, and they are longer than in the
regular season. They use more by always plugging a commercial in on
every 30- and 60-second timeout. Those are rarely used for commercial
content during the season [except maybe for billboards], but CBS has
gotten so good at managing their commercial rotation they use ‘em all.

“Normally, those timeouts would be used to deliver information to the
viewer--something that CBS gets a little light on when Billy “P ACC ker”
starts giving coaching opinion instead of true analysis.

“It should also be noted that the NCAA rulebook calls for 15-minute
halftimes [look it is in the rules] during the
tournament.....they are 20. It is good to be The King

--“A Nameless Working Stiff in the TV Biz”

[RON MALY’S COMMENT--“Nameless Working Stiff” is actually a well-known, highly-regarded and hard-working executive who knows his way around the biggest football stadiums and basketball arenas in the nation. “Nameless Working Stiff’s” comments were in response to an e-mail I received from the Rev. David Mumm of Des Moines, who wrote about the large amount of timeouts—TV and otherwise—during the NCAA tournament. Did you notice how “Nameless Working Stiff” spelled Billy Packer’s last name in his e-mail? Packer, of course, is regularly criticized for being partial to the Atlantic Coast Conference].


I know a guy with the nickname "I'm Glad It's Not My Nickel."

The guy knows newspapers, and tells me in an e-mail that the local paper is assembling a staff to put out a giveaway tabloid called "Juice."

"The weekly will be aimed at the 18-to-30 age group, the same as City View and Pointblank. gartner [of Pointblank] heard about it and told Connie Wimer [of City View] that, 'Two is a crowd and three is impossible.' So gartner said, 'I'll buy City View and here's my offer.' And she took it."

"Juice" as the name of a weekly newspaper? You've got to be kidding!

Juice is the term linked to steroid use. The word comes up all the time these days in connection with baseball players, present and past. A couple of major leaguers, and a whole bunch of minor leaguers [even from the Iowa Cubs], have already been suspended.

Just the thing you'd want your kid reading, right--something called "Juice?"

Today's local paper says "Juice" will be aimed at the 25-to-34 age group, not 18-to-30. The idea, of course, is to get people that age interested in newspapers because circulation has been nosediving for the last 25 years, and there's no end in sight.

But I've got news for "Juice" and the local paper. The 25-to-34 age group around here isn't interested in reading a weekly paper that's getting old while sitting on a rack in a Chinese restaurant.

All those folks want to read is a map that'll get 'em out of town.


“That the editors of the Register hired Erin Crawford after having had a chance to read her stuff for some time in City View totally escapes me. Frankly, it shows what a bunch of nitwits are running that place. I can assure you that she wouldn’t have made it through the swinging gates in the old days. I really wonder if she would be able to land a job on the Valley High School paper. Her sophomore English teacher must be embarrassed to death to see that his star pupil has not advanced one whit since 10th grade.


[RON MALY’S COMMENT: ‘Embarrassed’ is referring to the reporter at the local paper who made herself and her editors look silly with the latest story on Johnny Gosch. Once the Poynter Online journalism website got a look at it, news people and bloggers from around the nation were trashing it].


More on Diane Graham, who left, or was told to leave, her job as managing editor/staff development at the local paper:

“My best source indicates she really wanted to spend time with her daughter, who starts school in the fall. Also, her pension was actually going to start going down if she didn't quit now. All that has to do with how they figure pensions, something to do with the highest salary of the last five years or something like that. Since she has only been working four days a week, her compensation has been reduced.

--“‘Pension Expert’”


“Most news in my edition of the Register is two days old.. Is that also true of this e-mail?

“George Wine

“Coralville IA”

Here’s the memo Wine said he received after an earlier letter to the local paper didn’t appear:

"From: Letters
"To: George Wine
"Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 12:12 p.m.
"Subject: Re: Terri Schiavo

"Thank you for your letter to the Des Moines Register. Due to the volume of mail, we are unable to acknowledge receipt of submissions, other than by this automated reply.

"The space available allows us to publish roughly one in three of the letters we receive. Short letters (fewer than 150 words) and letters that refer to a recent article in the Register stand the best chance of being selected for publication.

"Letters must include the writer's street address and daytime phone number for verification purposes (not for publication). If a letter is selected for publication, it normally will appear in the newspaper about a week after it is received.

"All letters are subject to editing for length, accuracy and clarity. Letters and guest opinions submitted to the Register may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms.

"Best wishes,

"The Des Moines Register

[RON MALY’S COMMENT: I guess I should have alerted Wine about the “Meet the Editorial Board” stuff that took up most of the front page in the Opinion section Sunday. Had he read that, Wine would have been thoroughly confused about why he couldn’t get his letter in the paper].


E-mail from Eddie of Eddyville"--not his real name, not his real hometown: "I noticed that The Newspaper Iowa Depends On thinks the Northeast Iowa town of Shell Rock is spelled Shellrock."

[RON MALY'S COMMENT: You're not surprised, are you?]


"From: Perkins, Jerry
"Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 9:52 a.m.
"Subject: Muhm to rehab

"Don Muhm has been moved to room 477 in Iowa Methodist Hospital's Powell Rehabilitation Center, his wife Joann reports. "He's doing well and is out of the woods but it will be a while,” she said. Jo said to thank everyone for all the thoughts, get-well cards and messages Don has received."

[RON MALY’S COMMENT: The ailing Muhm is the local paper’s retired farm editor. Perkins is the present farm editor and one of the two best writers at the local paper].

Vol. 4, No. 332
April 11, 2005