Sports league bigwigs have some advice for newspapers
Commissioners from the top four U.S. sports leagues — National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League — had a few things to say about the state of the newspaper business during a panel discussion today.
The subject came up when Sam Walker, The Wall Street Journal’s sports editor, asked the commissioners about the troubles faced by the Boston Globe, which covers one of the most sports-crazed cities you can name.
“I think our industries have been good for one another. We’ve helped the paper business, but clearly the paper business has helped us,” offered the NFL’s Roger Goodell.
The other three commissioners had similarly pleasant things to say about the business — not to mention of few bits of advice for their publishing friends.
“The important thing for newspapers going forward is they have to have content — columnists, stories, features — that you can’t get anywhere else,” said hockey’s Gary Bettman. “If they are just going to do wire stories of the games, there isn’t going to be a future because we can all do that as well and faster than they can.”
Shortly thereafter, basketball’s David Stern topped off the conversation with the following, rather gloomy, assessment: “The handwriting isn’t on the wall, it’s set in mud.”