Sports Media Journal

Changes at SMJ for 2010

The beginning of a new year brings with it a chance to evaluate what you’ve accomplished in the past and plan for what will come ahead.  That’s the case here at Sports Media Journal (SMJ).

I started SMJ in 2007 because I had an interest in the sports media industry and wanted to provide some insight into the people and organizations that make it up.

At first I took to blogging as a hobby but soon sought more.  Those of you who blog on a regular basis know that as satisfying as it is to share your thoughts with the online world, to make money off that effort takes hours of hard work.

I would spend many a day getting up at 4:30am to assemble links to sports media stories or work late at night catching up on the latest sports media news.  That’s not a complaint, it’s the reality of being a part-time blogger.

All this work, however, has not led to the outcome I had envisioned, at least not yet.  I have a demanding full-time job and a wife and daughter I adore.  Those interests always came first.  And they still do.

I expect some added work commitments coming my way in 2010. That, combined with the responsibilities I have to my family,  means something needs to take a back seat.  That something is Sports Media Journal.

Let me make it clear that I’m not shutting down the site.  I’m just significantly cutting back on how often I blog.  The only commitment I am making is to continue to produce the weekly Sports Media Weekly Podcast with my blogging buddy Ken Fang at Fang’s Bites.

Daily links to sports media stories will be suspended, as will other posts featuring news from the leagues and networks.  Please visit Fang’s Bites for that information.  Ken does it better than anyone else.

I may still post from time to time but there may also be stretches that the only post you’ll see will be the weekly podcast.

I wish this were not the case.   I would love to make SMJ my full time job.  If I am able to resurrect the site to where I can commit more time to it, I will do so.  If any of you would like to lend a hand and write for me, drop me a line.

I would not have been able to accomplish what I have here at SMJ without the understanding and support of my family.  They’ve put up with a lot from me and gave me the space to pursue my blogging interests.

I’ve  made many new friends and contacts along the way.  Being able to converse with those in the industry and getting the cooperation from the sports networks on stories I’ve written have lent this site some credibility.  Colleagues at other blogs have also been extremely supportive.

I also want to thank you, the loyal readers of SMJ.  I have tried my best to keep the site on the straight and narrow, sticking to issues and not straying toward innuendo and scandal.  I really do appreciate your support.

So for now it’s not goodbye, just see you later.  Happy New Year!


Good News For Ray

Those of you who have read SMJ for the last few months have noted the contributions of Ray Frager.  Ray joined us in early May after he was let go as Assistant Editor and Sports Media Columnist for the Baltimore Sun.

Ray’s addition to our staff came quite coincidentally.  I was reading his last blog post over at the Sun where he mentioned his lay-off and his interest in starting his own sports media blog.  I e-mailed Ray, introduced him to SMJ, and invited home to join us to write on the topics of his choosing and for as long as he wished.

To my surprise Ray took me up on the offer and began writing for us on May 5th.   Our agreement was Ray would write for us until he was fortunate enough to once again attain gainful employment.   Thankfully for him that day has come.

Ray is now back in business of writing sports professionally and I could not be more happier for him.  Even though I never met Ray personally, in our conversations it was apparent to me that he is one of the good guys.

So on this day we celebrate work, I’m glad that Ray is back among us working stiffs.  We wish him all the best.

Vacation Time!

vacation-2As of this post, I am officially on vacation.  It gives me a chance to recharge the batteries and enjoy some quality time with my family.

I have scheduled one post to run next week which will feature another SMJ video.  Ray Frager will still contribute to the site while I’m away.

I will be separated from e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and all my other tehnological tethers until the end of the month.  You should too.  See you all then!  Thanks for your support!

SMJ Welcomes Ray Frager

I am pleased to announce that former Baltimore Sun Sports Media Columnist Ray Frager is now writing for Sports Media Journal.  Here’s the official press release…


Sports Media Journal (SMJ), a website dedicated to examining and commenting on the people and organizations that make up the sports media industry, is pleased to announce that former Baltimore Sun Sports Media Columnist Ray Frager is now writing for the site.

“We’re are excited to welcome Ray’s expertise and experience to our field of writers” said Sports Media Journal founder Keith Thibault, “The quality of Ray’s work speaks for itself.  He has been a leading regional and national sports media voice for many years.  His contributions will greatly enhance the credibility our site has achieved since it launched in March of 2007.”

Frager was recently released from his role as sports media columnist and assistant editor at The Sun, roles which he has held since 1985.  He indicated upon his release a desire to continue to report and comment on the sports media industry.  SMJ approached Frager about writing for the site and he enthusiastically agreed.

“I’m grateful to Keith for giving me a forum to continue blogging.” Frager said, “I hope those who read my columns and blogs at The Sun follow me to Sports Media Journal and enjoy the other writers at the site. I’m also glad for the chance to be exposed to a new audience.”

“Ray will be given the freedom to write as little or as much as he likes and on the topics of his choosing.” said Thibault, “He’s earned that level of respect.”

Frager filed his initial post on Sports Media Journal on May 3rd.

Ray’s first post is below.

More soon…

Playing in the Yard

What does Greg Oden, Donovan McNabb, and Sports Media Journal have in common? We are all now part of the same network.

Sports Media Journal is now a proud member of the Yardbarker network of sports blogs. If you look at their roster, some of the most popular and influential sports blogs on the web are part of the network. We are pleased to be affiliated with such great work. We hope to hold up our share of the bargain..

You will notice a Yardbaker headline panel in the right sidebar that provides the latest news from the network. You can also get directly to Yardbarker from the banner also located in the right sidebar.

Here’s hoping that our affiliation with Yardbarker will be beneficial to our mutual interests and to all our readers as well.

Post 101- Looking Back and Ahead

What a coincidence that in 2007 we published exactly 100 posts! I know Fanhouse, Deadspin, and others reach that number everyday, but it is a milestone nonetheless.  

I understand the arguments about page views, etc…but I believe posting for the sake of posting does not necessarily equal blogging success.  I never felt the need to comment on everything being done in the sports media.  I’ll leave that for others.  Besides, as much as I love writing for this blog, the other aspects of my life sit much higher on the priority scale.

So what was 2007 like here at Sports Media Journal?   My goal has always been to try to do more than just comment on the work of those in the sports media.  There are plenty of sites that are complaint clearinghouses.  That’s OK.  Being critical is one thing.  Offering constructive solutions to those criticisms in my opinion gives our work a level of credibility.

That was our approach this fall when we took a look at the perceived problems at ESPN. Not only did we comment on some of the problems that ailed the World Wide Leader, but we felt an obligation to come up with a solution to solving some of them.  These solutions may not be revolutionary, but at least we did more than just complain.

We also wanted to use the site to interview those in the sports media.  These professionals not only tell great stories, they have great stories to tell.  Expect more of these profiles in 2008.

In 2007 we took stab at live blogging.  Even though we are still not convinced of its effectiveness, tools like the one from CoveritLive will keep us interested in its development.  Who knows…we may try it again.

We also thought it would be a good idea to show you what it’s like to cover sports.  Our “On Press Row” features will continue in the new year. 

Late in the year we produced our first podcast.  My personal longing to return to my radio roots ensures that there will be more of these throughout the course of the next 12 months.

We look for your input into what you would like to see at SMJ in 2008.  Send us your ideas.

Thanks for your support and Happy New Year!