Photo Credit: Candace Horgan, USCHO.com
On Monday, Brad E. Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald, wrote an article on Area Voices about the evolution of college hockey coverage. Schlossman is a very well-known college hockey reporter and has been in the business for over a decade. He’s seen the industry change as the internet has grown and online sports content has become mostly free to access.
As I read his article, I started to reflect on conversations that I’ve had with writers like Nick Groke (Rockies beat reporter for the Denver Post), Mike Chambers (Avalanche beat reporter for the Post), and other members of both the “new media” and the established brands. Schlossman’s piece was consistent with almost everything that I’ve heard and experienced in my short time as a member of the media.
What struck me the most was the article’s explanation that so much of the online sports content has become free to access and because of this, the established news brands have struggled to stay profitable. Amidst increasing cutbacks and lay-offs, these sports outlets have had to cut their costs somehow. That means choosing what teams and sports are prioritized and what gets cut out.
Schlossman’s article really hits home for DU hockey fans, especially. In the most recent heyday of Denver hockey (mid to late-2000s), Chambers was putting out a number of articles and blog posts about the Pioneers. But in the last few years, amidst the growing prevalence of smaller, more “focused” blogs, DU coverage has been put on the backburner.
If there is a Post writer at Magness Arena for a non-CC or North Dakota game, it’s more than a bit surprising. To be clear, this is not a condemnation of the Denver Post. The DU Hockey market isn’t as big as the Avalanche, Rockies, or Broncos markets. They’ve had to prioritize what attracts the most clicks. Clicks drive revenue.
Now, we at LetsGoDU can’t complain. With the diminished coverage, the door has opened for blogs like us to take over this market. BSNDenver.com, Burgundy Brigade, and Magness Mayhem have joined us in the effort to expand the DU market and make sure the Pioneers have good, high-quality coverage.
The moral of the story and the main idea behind Schlossman’s article is that amidst the budget cuts and coverage rollbacks that many of these major city news outlets are putting forth, there may be no market more negatively affected than college hockey. It’s unfortunate because these outlets used to provide frequent, great features on players and coaches while providing readers with unique points of view.
We will always strive to fill that void left by the Post, but it’s unfortunate that college hockey fans have had to be the group that suffers the most from these budget cuts.
Here is Schlossman’s article on the evolution of college hockey coverage. It is a great read and very worth the 5-6 minutes of your time.