About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Living La Vida Local | Main | Wise Words »

February 22, 2008


Sean Polay

Mark, I commend the call to boycott, and with my small market lens on I would question whether media organizations beyond metro markets should even be covering major league sports in the first place.

It's not our bread and butter, and if we shift the effort away from pro teams to local sports, I firmly believe we'd not suffer dire consequences if we simultaneously invested that effort in better local coverage for the betterment of the product.

Order up a pre-packaged agate and roundup, and be done with it. Or aggregate the best sports content feeds for the Web, and choose the best content from that for use in a minimalist presentation in the paper.

I agree the MLB restrictions are silly and short-sighted. So, too, are our sports departments, though, if they think fans are turning to small market media organizations for any real insight or perspective on the pro sports scene that can't be had in a dozen other places. We simply don't have the resources to do it any longer.

Brian Cubbison

Unfortunately, this is what a business model looks like. Major league baseball invented "expressed written consent." They've been very effective at controlling a scarce product. (An anti-trust exemption doesn't hurt.) More thoughts here:


sports forum junky

MLB has definitely made too many mistakes. Poor Bud.

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