Saturday, February 05, 2011

Green Bay | A gauntlet is thrown in bowl coverage

Step aside, Post-Crescent! says one of my readers. Gannett's paper in Appleton, Wisc., may be publishing a cool build-a-player poster. But the Green Bay Press-Gazette won't be tackled (ouch!)  in its coverage of the Super Bowl. After all, Green Bay is home to the Packers, who are facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas tomorrow.

My reader writes: Coverage of perhaps the nation's largest sports event by one of GCIs mid-sized papers (43,678 Monday-Friday; 55,964 Saturday; 68,567 Sunday) includes:
  1. Extensive coverage on two websites -- Green Bay Press-Gazette and Packers News -- that has drawn millions of pageviews during the Green Bay Packers' run to the Super Bowl.
  2. A team of 10 (!) in Dallas.
  3. A Packers football blog.
  4. A Packers fan blog.
  5. A live daily chat hosted by our Packers reporters.
  6. Daily video and photo coverage, including reader-submitted videos and photos.
  7. Social media coverage via Twitter (@gbpressgazette), two Facebook pages (one Press-Gazette and one Packers News) and text messaging.
  8. A print extra put out the night of Jan. 23, after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears to reach the Super Bowl.
  9. Special print sections on the Packers-Bears rivalry, the Packers' 12 championship teams and Packers fans.
  10. There's nationwide demand for these special print sections, along with postgame papers, so they're being packaged and sold online.
  11. We also are doing a book on the Packers' run to the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, here's today's front page, via the Newseum:


  1. Yawn. I mean, really. No offense. All of the above is what you would expect them to do. The Appleton paper has always, always been more innovative than Green Bay. Until the hellish few rounds of budget cutting, The Post-Crescent was always leading the state in cool Packers stuff: Packers Preview section on Fridays, Packers Extra section (a double Sports section!) the day after the game, surprises all the time. Check this out from the Favre days (so good that the P-G had to just steal it):

  2. The pissing match between these two papers is ridiculous and has been going on for years. What an awful A1. Reserve 6-column treatment for photos and stories that deserve it...

  3. Some gblog readers may not realize the level of interest in Green Bay and Wisconsin for the Packers.

    Lambeau seats around 73,000. At the beginning of the year there were over 83,000 people on the season ticket waiting list - at current turnover rates, 2050 is when the last guy gets his. And GB only has around 107,000 population!

    The readership is not all fans, and they won't take just any piece of crap they send out the door. But as long as they can scrounge staff, there's a worldwide audience.

    IMHO, Appleton's day-to-day design is much better, A1-D10. Awesome section fronts daily. WNA POTY awards seem to flow south too.

  4. I hope the spell Dalas correctly.

  5. Wholeheartedly agree with you, 10:26 and 6:16. Their game-day front pages are all the evidence you need of this.

    They've had two weeks – TWO WEEKS – to prepare for this front page. Appleton's front has major rack appeal and really makes me feel something. It sums up why today is such a huge day for Wisconsinites. Green Bay's front is just flat, again (just like yesterday) using mediocre imagery big, with lame headlines.

    Hey, I'm a visual guy. Big visuals are great. I *love* a good 6-column photo, or a full-bleed design to anchor a page. But special treatment all the time destroys "special." Six-column visuals all the time (in this case, every day leading up to the Super Bowl) is the equivalent of crying wolf. You do it too much and it severely lessens the impact of your work when the *real* big news happens.

    If you're gonna go big, do it right and pack a punch. Don't sissy up with a lame headline like "Are You Ready?" in all-caps reverse type. And then put "You" in italics? What is THAT about?

    But hey, don't worry... I'm sure the new regionalized pagination factories will totally bring Green Bay up to par and wreck Appleton's creative control.

  6. At the end of the day, no Packers fan is going to treasure and save away their game day chat-room transcript. Get the dead tree edition right and you've secured a solid spot in your community's history.

  7. Imagine what BOTH papers could accomplish together if their staffs didn't behave like middle schoolers.

  8. The Green Bay publisher reports to the Appleton publisher. They share so many key positions. The competition is only in the mind of some in the newsroom.

  9. Some of the people posting in this thread need to wake up.

    If someone really had the guts, they would stage an anti-Gannett protest right there at the Press-Gazette during its Sunday hours.

  10. Interesting to see that almost all of these comments remain focused on print, and that most of the coverage mentioned was digital.

  11. The writer forgot the last item on this list:
    12) After all these tasks are completed, lay off a few staffers because if there are enough people around to do all this extra work, there's obviously plenty of trimmable fat in the newsroom budget.


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