Friday, November 07, 2008

With Section Consolidation, N.Y. Times Sports Coverage Less Colorful

Gray Lady Really Is Gray; Meanwhile, Hockey Coverage Takes Yet Another Step Toward Irrelevance

One consequence of The New York Times consolidating sections to save money is that the once-standalone section fronts often have black-and-white photos instead of color.
This is often the fate of the sports section on the four days when it runs inside Business Day. It looks cheap, and given that there's often some compelling art, the section is less of a grabber and makes stories easier to overlook.
I remember thinking how unthinkable color photos in the Times once seemed. Indeed, the paper was relatively late to the game, but has since made the most of the technology. The Times needs to make sure it doesn't lose that edge in sports.
Then again, it's just another slap-in-the-face for sports in the Times. It's been well-documented here about how the paper has cut back on coverage of many local teams. Regular hockey coverage is down to a single writer, Lynn Zinser, who mostly covers only New York Rangers home games.
But now, not even that. Last night's Rangers 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning was noted on page B-17 by an A.P. story. The Times couldn't even muster one of its stringers, like Dave Caldwell, to cover the game, though it did send veteran photographer Barton Silverman to the game.
Somehow, the St. Petersburg Times had enough its kitty to send a reporter on the road to cover the Lightning. So did the cash-starved Tampa Tribune, along with at least five other New York-area papers.
But not the Times. When the team with the best record in the N.H.L. is playing about seven blocks from your newsroom, that's pretty sad.

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