Monday, October 01, 2012

Sports Media | Who writes this gibberish?

From a company news release this morning:

"USA Today Sports announced today the roll out of a new content syndication module, USA Today Sports Pulse, across more than 100 local Gannett properties. USA Today Sports Pulse is also available for syndication beyond Gannett."

A module?


  1. Yes, a "module". It's pretty common terminology.

    It's on par with "bluelines" and "hot type" if you were born before 1981. It sucks getting old, doesn't it? Everything gets so confusing!

  2. 11:45 Yes, but Corporate's audience is not the IT community. That page you linked to would be incomprehensible to 99.999% of the world.

  3. By quickly employing a universal resource locator index parsing algorithm (aka Google) I was able to find a definition more suitable for the corporate audience:>

    Perhaps you should start a "new media" word of the day section to help educate yourself and your readers.

  4. It's an aggregator for in-house content. Press release doesn't mention any outside sources. Whoop-de-do. How does this help us attract readers/viewers/advertisers? That's not a snarky question, BTW. If it helps my "local Gannett property" improve the bottom line, great. Otherwise, why bother. Wonder if anyone will bite on syndication?

  5. "would be incomprehensible to 99.999% of the world"

    The press release isn't addressed to 99.999% of the world.

  6. I always thought the job of the communicator, in this case the person writing the press release,
    was NOT to be confusing!

    Clear and of USA TODAY's founding principles. Remember?

  7. God forbid, 12:17, that all the techies out there actually tried to communicate in ways that real people communicate. I think that is what Jim is driving at. It doesn't make him out of touch or an old fart. Just someone who is familiar with how the English language works.

    Oh, and before turning your sharp elbows on me: I actually make a GREAT living by taking the gibberish that comes out of the mouths of IT people and making it read like comprehensive and even compelling English.

    So while we're dissecting this atrocious news release that allegedly was written by PR professionals, may I also observe:

    * "roll out" should be one word.

    * It's not "across" more than 100 local properties. It's "throughout."

  8. I understood what that meant, but I'm familiar with what the background is. It's not new...I assume it's just an expansion of what had already been started. On each local site, there's a USAT Sports ('Pulse' now) section that is incorporated on the local Sports site. Detroit Free Press for example (scroll down a bit):

    Doubt the local sites appreciate the forced intrusion on their sites, but that's the new world order of USAT Sports.

    What's more interesting is that this feature is 'presented by' SportsonEarth blog, which is an entity partly run by USAT, that tells me:

    - the Sports sales team couldn't find an outside buyer for that 'presented by' sponsorship (But what have they sold recently anyway)

    - they're pushing that new blog. Wonder how traffic is for that. I checked it out, and although the columns are fine...not sure what the point of differentiation is, and why a sports fan would care. Is there a huge following of Posnanski?

  9. You guys are retarded if you can't figure out "module."

    "Roll out" as two words is pretty fucked up, though. But so are most of the posts at this increaingly pathetic blog.

    Give it up, Jim. You sucked at Gannett, and you suck even more after Gannett. What's worse is you give the hopeless retards here a false belief that what they say matters. It didn't before when they were fucking up Gannett, and it certainly doesn't now.

  10. 4:25 I really hope you don't work for Gannett.

  11. When I write even mildly critical posts about the Sports Media Group, I often get reactions that can be summed up as follows:

    Tom Beusse is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

    1. Tell that to everyone who had to reapply for their jobs

  12. These are the same people that force Phoenix to post sports scheduled using Eastern Standard Time. So it is not surprising that they don't understand communications.

  13. GASP! Another module! This one is for second graders!

    Balance and Motion Module!

    Total gibberish. No wonder people are writing words like that in press releases... they're learning them in second grade!

  14. Jim, it's good for us all that you don't work for anyone.

  15. To our press release writers,
    Our advertisers and investors are NOT techies and they constitute a far more important audience. Stop jerking around trying to be a techie and realize who butters your bread. And take a writing course, please.

  16. "When I write even mildly critical posts about the Sports Media Group, I often get reactions that can be summed up as follows:

    Tom Beusse is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

    That's a pretty inaccurate summary of the response to your post... let me rephrase what respondents are actually saying here:

    "Jim, you're a troll, and second grade school kids know what a module is."

    Since you probably don't know what a "troll" is, follow this link:

    Definition of a troll

  17. Excuse me, but module is grade school vocabulary word.

    There's no shortage of jargon-laden gibberish out there, but this press release doesn't come close to exemplifying same.

  18. 5:50 That would be some advanced grade school. According to an earlier poster, a module is defined as:

    (1) In software, a module is a part of a program. Programs are composed of one or more independently developed modules that are not combined until the program is linked. A single module can contain one or several routines.

    (2) In hardware, a module is a self-contained component.

  19. Meanwhile, for those of you keeping track, Beusse & Co. now have 27 months to find that $300 million-plus in additional revenue Martore promised Wall Street back in February.

  20. Jim, how is your revenue stream coming? You're not exactly J.P. Morgan here, dude.

    You're a concern troll. Maybe you do it from here, but the goals are the same.

  21. It wasn't $300 million additional. It was $300 million in FY2015 vs. $100 million in FY2011.

    And they have 39 months to reach that goal, not 27.

  22. Jim, Jim, Jim, it's so simple.
    A module is bigger than a desk, but not as tall as a vertical.

  23. Good grief. Try Webster's:

    Definition of MODULE:

    • any in a series of standardized units for use together; e.g.
    – a unit of furniture or architecture
    – an educational unit which covers a single subject or topic

    • a packaged collection of parts

    • an independently operable unit that is a part of a total structure

    • a standard or unit of measurement

    • the size of some one part taken as a unit of measure by which the proportions of an architectural composition are regulated

    Origin of MODULE: Latin modulus
    First Known Use: circa 1628

  24. Whole thing kind of sounds like a silo or a vertical. Weren't we supposed to be breaking those down?

  25. Show me the money, haters. Does Gannett break out business unit revenues in its financials all the time, or only when it has good news? If the former, then the truth will out.

  26. 9:44 I appreciate your knowledge of such details.

    I think you are partly right, but I really had to dig around to get your numbers.

    For the Feb. 22 Investor Day, Corporate issued a press release that said: "The expansion of USA TODAY Sports Media Group, which is expected to be among the top five sports media companies in the country with over $300 million in annual revenue by 2015."

    In a presentation to analysts later that day, according to Corporate's transcript, there was some confusion over how Corporate arrived at that $300 million-plus.

    Apparently referring to Sports Media, Vikram Sharma, who is vice president of retail strategy, talked about growing "this business to a $75 million to $100 million business in 2012."

    Later, during the question-and-answer session, an analyst asked a question about Sports Media: "I think you said there's $100 million of revenues in 2011, projected to go to $300 million."

    Martore said she interpreted the question as "around the $75 million to $100 million of revenue associated with the USA TODAY Sports initiative. Some of that obviously is from our existing sports business that we already have within the company, and so that's sort of marshaling that business together."

    So, those existing revenues were $75 million to $100 million. And they were reached in either 2011 or sometime in 2012.

    That means Sports Media is expected to produce an additional $200 million to $225 million by 2015.

    As to your second point, the release says the more than $300 million will be reached "by" 2015. I don't know about you, but I treat that as Jan. 1, 2015.

    And that's 27 months away: three months in 2012; 12 months in 2013, and 12 months in 2014.

  27. It appears Jimbo has mastered the ancient art of changing the subject. You should run for office.

  28. Look at the presentation. It's not ambiguous about the baseline year or amount, although apparently it should have shown a range of $75 to $100 million. Either way, the point stands concerning your original omission.

    The comment about Jan. 1 is nonsensical. The 300 million is an annual number, meaning revenue recorded for a whole fiscal year. According to the presentation, that number will be achieved for FY 2015, and not for FY 2014, '13 or '12.

    (P.S. Sharma didn't say anything about sports. And though it's hard to keep up with job titles, doesn't that come with the territory?)

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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