Thursday, April 05, 2007

What Does The New Ombuds(wo)man Have To Say About Bloggers

ESPN has a new ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber, a former NY Times Sports Editor. Ms. Schreiber replaces George Solomon, who first held the position. I liked George Solomon...most of the time. I did write one thing that was anti-Solomon, but he was generally fair and tried to hold ESPN accountable. However, I think he was a bit of a company man and could be cowed by the World Wide Leader.

After reading Ms. Schreiber's introductory column, I don't think she will have Mr. Solomon's weaknesses. I could, though, just be fooled by her persuasive writing. I'll just have to wait and see. Schreiber seems to be quite tough and claims to have no qualms in holding ESPN's feet to the fire. Good for her. And, hopefully, good for us...the consumers.

ESPN has become quite unwieldy and has no serious competitor with the same resources. In fact, ESPN is the creator of the modern sports media industry. Its sheer girth allows it to be unresponsive to consumer complaints. So, it's refreshing to see the company actually try address consumer issues. Let's hope they actually pay attention to the ombudsman because it seemed Solomon wasn't seen but not heard.

There was one passage in Schreiber's column I found quite interesting yet don't know what to make of it just yet. Time will only tell. Schreiber was discussing her thoughts before accepting the position and wrote this:
Before the week was out, I realized my liabilities for this position were also my assets. The almost mutant scale of ESPN's growth in recent years makes it seem the likely ultimate employer of every sports anchor, announcer, analyst, writer, talker, producer, editor, technician and, last but not least, blogger in the land.

I am curious why she would mention bloggers so pointedly. What does it mean? Is she going to be reading the blogs to find ESPN's faults? Last but not least? She's actually giving us credit. The Underground that ESPN has so strenuously fought against. Help me out...what is she getting at?

It's also obvious she doesn't understand that bloggers are by definition unemployed and write from their parents' basement in nothing but a pair of tighty-whities. I kid, I kid. Only because I actually have a job. But, there are far more sports bloggers out there than ESPN will ever care to employ.

12 comments:

Big Blue Monkey said...

Actually, ESPN just offered me a very lucrative deal to disect the Beckham Rule, and to find funny cartoons on YouTube.

Just because it isn't true doesn't make it untrue.

Ryan said...

I think she means that most bloggers are people who would probably like to write about sports for a living, and that ESPN is probably the end all be all if you wanted to do that.

As examples, I submit to you Bill Simmons and Henry Abbott, guys who started with small online columns who are now pulling in a lot of cash writing for the WWL.

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